Purpose and Will?

“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

As I sit on my deck this morning and watch the sun come up I am struck first, once again, by the beauty of the creation that our Father and Creator had set before us.  It amazes me how fast the corn planted behind us grows with a nice rain and then some sunshine.  What an amazing design!  Then as I think about all that is involved to make this happen and the intricacies of how the sun and water and carbon dioxide and photosynthesis work together I have to stop because my head begins to hurt!

So my mind drifts back to simpler things.  I think about the sun and its purpose. To give light and warmth and vitamin D and other properties I am sure I don’t know about.  But as I think about this I muse about how God gave the sun a purpose and it carries out this purpose day in and day out.  It has no will to bend but it simply performs.  

In the passage above we are told that we have an inheritance.  I believe part of that inheritance is the world we see around us that our God created.  But what I and I think many of us as believers struggle with is “purpose and will”.  We wonder about purpose and will for ours lives.  This scripture can help us with this if we are willing to bend our will to God’s.  Because we are not like the sun.  We have free will and we fight (sometimes unwittingly) against the purpose and will of our Father.  We say we want to follow Him yet we are so enticed by all this world has to offer and battle is on!  We can’t have both. We may argue and think we can but scripture is clear concerning this. 

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The really strange thing is that if we will bend our will to the will and purpose of our Father and Lord we will be amazed at all the things in the world that are opened up to us. Our purpose becomes clear and joy of the love of our Father will rule our heart. 

Father help me, us, surrender all that we are to Your will and love that we may experience all the fullness You have for us. 

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Possessed?


“As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in the tombs outside the town.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Like the man in the scripture above my life was once held in the control of opposing forces. Maybe some of you reading this can relate. The demons I fought were doubt, depression, self hate and deception.  Destructive behavior came out of this such as drinking, drugs and fighting. Many times doing these to the point of a desire to die. 

Then one day Jesus came to the shores of my life and just as the man in the scriptures my life was freed from the bondage that held me. 

“People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:35‬ ‭NLT‬‬

My life changed so radically that many of my old aquaintances doubted and/or avoided me. But I did not care because all I wanted to do was follow Jesus.  So I did. I sat at His feet and He loved and taught me so much that I never knew. Every part of my life improved. Oh, it was not without battles and those demons tried to come back but I was resolved never to go back. 

Then one day Jesus told me I could not just continue to follow Him. I needed to go out and tell others all the good He had done in my life. And so I did just that. 

““No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:39‬ ‭NLT‬‬

For many years almost all I could think about was carrying out this command.  God did great things through my life. Then some life’s setbacks hit me. I watched in pain as some I loved dearly were in pain and bondage. I allowed just a little doubt to come in and with it came depression and fear.  I went through a time of anger with my Father and thought that maybe He was through with me. Temptation came rushing at me and I fell to some.  But it was not long befor I realized and heard that still small voice that was beckoning me to come back to rest at His feet. His love rushed back into my heart and I realized then that my Father had never stopped pursuing me and never would. 

“The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭ 31:3 NKJV

My hopes are that for any reading this, unbeliever, new or old you will realize that Father God loves you intensely and always will.  Turn your life to Him ( or return) and let His love wash over and free you from whatever is holding your life at check.  

Father, help us all realize your love in new and amazing ways!

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Open Eyes?


“for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“He made the things we can see”.  As I sit this morning gazing at the sunrise I have shared with you and I am in awe of the things that our creator gives us to see. And as I think about the “things we can’t see” I wonder that if what we can see now is this magnificent then what beauty must await us.  But then as I think about my Father and the incredible love He has for me the “eyes of my heart” begin to open and this thought comes to mind.  “Does what I see draw me closer to Him?  And does what I can’t see draw me closer to Him?”

If everything I see and can’t see was created by God and for God then I believe his desire is that in our joy and in our awe His children would draw closer to Him.  

Also, as I sit here taking in the beauty of the ocean and the beach in front of me the “eyes of my heart” are opened to the people going to and fro across the sand.  I sense the love of my Father for them and the desire he has to know them all, whether they desire Him or not.   I realize then that the real beauty in His creation is The People. 

Good morning Papa. Help me to see with Your eyes, to hear with Your ears and to love with Your heart. 

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There are many thoughts that come to mind when we think of Dying. What will happen?  What will it be like. Is there a heaven,  or hell? You may have others that you would add. Whatever those questions may be there can be a comfort that comes when we God show us the answers. 

My father-in-law is dying of cancer.  It is a painful thing to watch someone you love go through this process. I have been amazed at the grace with which he is walking through this journey. I don’t believe that God would put cancer on anyone for ANY reason. And I believe with all my heart that God has the power to heal him.  For whatever the reason this has not happened. What has happened though is still a miracle!   My father-in-law is a godly man so full in the knowledge if where he will be and grace that this has brought makes me somewhat jealous.  Dad is an example of faith and hope because there is no question in him about dying, only the firm understanding of knowing where he is going,  and that is to be with his Father in heaven. 

To anyone who may be reading this you have questions and a fear of dying I hope this will give you a desire to seek where this peace comes from. 

Matthew 10:39 states: He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.  

This applies to anything in life. Anything we try to hang on to OR cling to we will eventually lose.  But when we let it die it will come back in a fullness and completeness that would not have happened if we had not allowed it to die. 

Dad gets this. I love him all the more for this lesson he is teaching me. And I love my Savior so much for teaching it to him! 

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Connection? (part dos)

connected

In my last blog I spoke of the vital importance of being connection to a life giving source.  If a tree branch becomes disconnection from it’s source (the trunk and roots) it will eventually die.  I believe that it is no different for us when it comes to our relationship with God.  If we choose, or allow, ourselves to disconnect from our Source we will eventually die spiritually.
In looking at my statement above I want to focus on the word BELIEVE.  In John 20:29 Jesus makes this statement to Thomas;  Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
We hear the phrase at times; “I will believe it when I see it”.  It is so much easier to believe this way.  Why believe something if we can’t see it?  I recall a time when I shared with a friend years ago that I had jumped my 3 wheel ATV 63 feet through the air.  He refused to believe me!  “I will believe that when I see it”, he said.  So I took him to the place where I had made the jump and showed him the tracks where I left the ground and landed again.  That could be anyone’s tracks is all he responded with.  I actually had to make the jump again before he would believe me!  And this was not easy as the first jump had nearly made me pee my pants!
Thomas did not believe the other disciples has seen Jesus.  The pain of having his Savior with him and then losing him would not allow him to believe.  Jesus, in His grace, allowed Thomas to have his request to “see to believe”.  Many of us choose not to believe because it is too painful to allow that.  We may have prayed for God to take something from our life or the life of a loved one and it did not or has not happened.  So we choose not to believe.
I am sorry this has happened.  I understand this kind of pain.  Please hear me when I say this;  “The pain of disconnecting, of deciding not to believe, will become greater than the pain you are experiencing.  Eventually our spirit dies and we die on the inside.
Jesus is the source of Life that we need!  Unbelief will separate us from the Vine we so desperately need but cannot see because of the pain that envelopes us.  Believe me when I say this; as you choose to BELIEVE you will SEE!  As you believe you will see Jesus our savior in so many things.  In people, in circumstances and in the strength that you find to go and live each day for HIM!
BELIEVE AND CONNECT….
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Connection?

connected

 John 15:5 –  “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
If you break a branch full of leaves, full of life, beautiful and bright off from the tree it is connected to it does not take long and that branch begins to wither.  Its color will fade and slowly departs from it.  Within days it is dried and dead, lacking any of its former qualities that made it so wonderful.
When any of us first connects ourselves to the life vine of Jesus Christ it is so obvious.  We are bright and full of the brightness of life that only God can give through his Son.  We are firmly connected and receiving all the life giving supplements that a tree would be giving it’s branches to keep them strong and healthy!
Then the newness wears off.  It is in this time that we either mature in that connection or we become distracted, needy, or hurt by what life throws at us and we disconnect.  Just as the life slowly drains out of the beautiful branch of the tree the life that God put in us through His Son Jesus slowly fades and the fruit we once boasted has died.
It takes a conscious decision to remain connected.  To be that branch that remains firmly attached to the life giving force of our amazing Creator.  And life, in all its beauty and ugliness, remains full and we continue to produce the fruit that we were intended to produce.  Disconnect and die….sadly.
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Abandoned?

What happens when we fail to be abandoned to the Lord?  In our pursuit of Him we allow the things in this natural world to restrain, refrain and dampen our complete abandonment to the plan and vision He has for us?
Jesus says in Mark 10:29-30
29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.
 
How often have I stopped for my wife, my children or maybe for fear of being provided for (so my job)?  Or when the persecution that Jesus speaks of comes does that stop my abandonment?  
 
It is only in complete abandonment to the Love of God deposited in us by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) will we be spurred on to complete His call in each of our lives.  As we do this our trust on the One who created all will grow.  We will give our Lord opportunity to step in and handle the situation as only he can.
 
So, what happens when we fail to be abandoned to the Lord?  We may never know.  His love does not change nor can we be separated from it (Romans 8:38-39).  But, we may miss knowing Him in a way that could never happen without that abandonment.
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