From: Get More Strength
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”Psalm 139:14
Each year Time magazine publishes an issue focusing on that year’s “Best Inventions.” Notable technological marvels once included a 130 mph electric roadster, a mattress that uses magnets to levitate 16 inches above the floor, a battery-powered inflatable pool-lounger, and a wall-mounted “magic” mirror. When connected to the electronic gadgets in your home, an ethereal face appears in this mirror to announce that your hot tub is ready or that someone has pulled into your driveway. I am not personally interested in the newly bred hypo-allergenic cat, but a new vending machine that actually mixes, freezes, and dispenses fresh ice cream in 45 seconds definitely has my attention!
Bill Gates, of the Microsoft Corporation, puts all of this engineering and innovation into perspective. In the book The Road Ahead, he stated: “Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.” Your DNA has been there since the moment you were conceived, stipulating your hair color, your height, and the shape of your nose. It uniquely marks you and provides a clearly traceable link back through your family heritage. God has endowed the very building blocks of our genetic material with a level of sophistication and complexity that is infinitely beyond the imaginations of science’s best and brightest minds. God’s attention to detail and intriguing creativity is so powerful that it can even silence the most skeptical heart.
Millennia before the discovery of DNA, the psalmist praised God for His detailed design in our lives. Numerous psalms sing the praises of God’s handiwork in creation—magnificent oceans, star-streaked heavens, and majestic mountains. But in Psalm 139:1-24 the writer exults in the intimate work of God in creating human life. His praise is personal: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” He is aware that God’s creation is not only grand and vast, it is infinitely, wonderfully specific.
That encourages me in so many ways. It reminds me that I am not a random, accidental meeting of genetic material. God knew me, orchestrated the details of my DNA, and is carrying out His plans for my life. You are not an accident either. Like the psalmist, you were “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Your life has the full attention of the Creator of the universe, and you are precious to Him.
I am also encouraged to realize that God has given this much attention to not only you and me, but, think about it, to every single one of thesix billion people on this planet. He wrote everyone’s genetic code. He knows everyone’s parents’ names, their families, their hurts, their joys, and their needs. He has a specific love for each human who walks this planet and sent Jesus to die for his or her sins, just as Christ died for yours and mine. All of us are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
So even as we eagerly anticipate and enjoy the latest in technology, the real marvel and wonder in our lives should be reserved for the Master Creator and Designer and the One who knitted us together and gave us life. Quite honestly, no technological advance no matter how spectacular it may be can even come close to that. And even if it did, it wouldn’t care for you and love you. I’ll be forever grateful that God’s amazing design for us is not only high tech but high touch as well!
JANUARY 15, 2015
Dealing With Daily Frustrations
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15 (NIV)
I was talking with a customer service agent from an online company I have enjoyed doing business with for years. I was in a hurry to check things off my growing to-do list, and called thinking she could help me with a return. But when I explained I needed to return this certain item, things started to head south with our conversation.
She informed me that my item wasn’t on the returnable list. It was actually on the final sale list. I had no clue there was a returnable list and a final sale list. It wasn’t posted online or stated in their catalog.
I logically stated my case and felt sure she would see things my way. But she didn’t. No matter what I said or explained, she wouldn’t budge.
I knew the lady on the other end of the phone was just following procedure, but it made no sense. It wasn’t right, and I was frustrated!
And my tone of voice made it clear just how frustrated I was. Honestly, I didn’t have the time nor the patience to deal with that hiccup right then.
Later that same day, I was in line at the grocery store behind a man who wanted to use an expired coupon. The check-out gal calmly stated she couldn’t honor his coupon. Well, he didn’t like that one bit. And he made sure everyone around them knew how much he didn’t like this situation.
I stood appalled at his actions.
Until … I started thinking about the fact that I’d acted almost the same way with the customer service agent who refused what I wanted. The conviction wove its way through my heart and made me feel so badly for the way I’d reacted toward that woman.
After my call, she probably moved on to the next frustrated customer. And then the next. And then the next. Suddenly, I felt so sorry for her.
I decided it wasn’t her desire to not help me. She was truly just following the orders of the higher-ups at her company. I imagined her packing up her things at the end of another long day and heading home. A home where she had to face her own daily aggravations, frustrations and to-do lists.
That’s when it hit me. While on the phone, I never really pictured her as a person. To me, she was just a voice on the other end of the line that was causing me extreme frustration and keeping me from getting other things done.
How might my reaction have been different if I’d stopped to think about her as a woman just like me? What might it be like to be her, to live her life and do her job every day?
I really think God was trying to get my attention to be more aware of my reactions. More aware of handling daily frustrations in a way that reflects a heart that loves the Lord.
In today’s key verse, Luke 8:15, Jesus reminds us, “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
I want Jesus’ message to fall on a heart that is humble and fertile enough to:
Receive God’s Word …
Retain God’s instruction and …
Reflect God’s character in both my actions and reactions.
When I stop to think about this I am challenged. Whether I’m talking with a customer service representative I don’t know or interacting with those I do everyday life with, I want to work toward being a woman who displays godly character.
Just like Luke 8:15 encourages, whether I’m having a frustrating conversation or a friendly one, may God’s messages of truth have such an impact on me that my heart and my mouth remain noble and good.
From: Through The Bible
Genesis 15:6 (NIV) 6Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Salvation has always been by grace through faith. God reached out to Abram and gave him promises of a son and of possession of the land. God promised his descendents would outnumber the stars, and Abram believed. The apostle Paul wrote, 4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. Romans 4:4-5 (NIV)
He went on to say that this is before the law and before circumcision. Abram had done nothing but believe God, and God credited it to him as righteousness. This shows us that the way to God is simply believing God, not keeping some set of rules or performing some action. It is when we receive what God has said and accept it as truth.
Throughout the ages, man has come to God in the same way. Only the death of the Son of God in our place makes it possible for this transaction. The righteousness credited to us is the righteous life of Jesus. Since God never changes and does not have a different set of standards for different people, we can see all mankind comes to God in the same way. God reveals Himself to man, and man either believes God or turns from God and trusts self. Paul wrote that this grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men. We need not worry that God will be unjust and damn forever those who never had a chance. Creation testifies of God, and the Spirit of God shines on every heart to give them an opportunity.
This does not let us out of the responsibility of sharing the plan of salvation, for that is the Great Commission. It does, however, show us that God loves the world and is not willing that any should perish.
Consider: All will have an opportunity to do as Abram did, believe the LORD. Do you really believe Him?
Zechariah 2:10-11 (NIV) 10“Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD. 11“Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.
As Jesus road down into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the religious leaders asked him to quiet the shouting crowds. They were asking for this prophecy to not be fulfilled. That is why Jesus said that if they were quiet the rocks would cry out. The word will be fulfilled in spite of what man does.
Why are we to shout and be glad? JHWH (Jehovah) has come to live among us. Not only did the Word become flesh and walk among us, but now He has come to live in our very hearts. Where Christ is there is joy! Many of our churches are altogether too quiet! There is definitely a place for reverential quiet as is mentioned in the following verses, but there is a place for a shout of joy also. Think about it! God has come to live in you! He has redeemed you and invites you to fellowship with Him. He will guide you each day and direct your paths. Wahoo! Perhaps one reason unbelievers have a hard time believing us is that the fantastic story we tell them does not match our expression.
Verse 11 tells of the wonder of the Gentiles becoming the people of God. In the first days of the new church, this was still interpreted as Gentiles converting to Judaism. It took years before they realized this meant a personal relationship between the Gentile believer and JHWH. I will live among you and you will know…
Is the first “I will live among you” the incarnation, and the second the infilling of the Holy Spirit? Certainly, when we are filled with the Spirit, we know that the JHWH Tsaba has sent Jesus to us. Do you know the Eternal God of the Armies of Heaven has sent Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit to you?
Consider a shout for joy! After your shout of joy, do what verse 13 commands us to do, and be still before Him.