IMAGINATION

The following is a product of my imagination, but I’m not sure it is entirely fictional.  I believe it may have happened something like this.

Do you ever find yourself running with an idea that gains more momentum with each passing moment?  There are people who begin with a simple idea; perhaps an idea for a story, or a service, or maybe an invention that borders on genius.  Maybe your favorite place in your home is in your kitchen creating culinary delights.  For some it is imputing awe and wonder into young minds.  There are those who have an idea that will make their workplace a better environment in many ways.  For me it is usually a project that I begin with; anything from a blank canvas to a set design for theater.  One idea, one spark and my imagination is off and running.

Perhaps you know someone like that.  Perhaps you can relate perfectly because you, like me, have no problem with your imagination.  Sometimes I think I received a double portion when in comes to creative imagination.  However I came to be the way I am, I fully believe it is because of our ultimate creator.

God’s creativity knows no limits – and is always, always, always good.  Come with me in my imagination as I take a peek into the Godhead eons ago.  Watch and listen as the creative process unfolds….

God….Father, the Word (His Son), and Holy Spirit.  Perfect unity.  Perfect love.  The same in every way, yet uniquely individual.  The most complete relationship that no words can describe.

This absolute, complete love desires someone to share that love with.  Someone much like Himself, made in His image.  A created being who would enter the perfect love that already exists in the Trinity.

Well, I think that as the idea begins to take shape, our creator understands every scenario His creation may encounter, including the deceptive enemy who is bent on destruction of anything God may create.   Of course he would use his best tricks to break whatever God’s intention would be.  Since God’s creation will have a free will and be able to make his own choices, there are very real risks involved.

However, this idea has taken hold of God’s heart, and He  already loves deeply what is in His imagination.  Like a loving Father, humans must be protected at all costs.  The Son already feels deeply for mankind; as a bridegroom loves his bride, and decides that He will willingly do whatever it takes to save His beloved…even if it means separating Himself from the perfect union…even if it means becoming a man Himself and laying down His life to restore the relationship between God and man.

Holy Spirit will not be left out of this unfolding plan.  After the Son pays the ultimate sacrifice for His beloved, enters Satan’s domain and takes his keys and and his authority,  He releases those held captive and conquers death one time for all men.  Holy Spirit will move into the lives of humans and make them His home.  He will be closer than their heartbeat, and will reveal to them the Son in all His glory.  Mankind will become the soul-mate God intends.  They will carry God’s very presence wherever they go and share the amazing love of their creator.

As Father, Son and Holy Spirit look down through the ages; they look straight into my heart and chose me as their own.  They will draw me close.  (Please insert your name, or the names of anyone and everyone you care about.)    They make a decision…”Let’s give her a great big imagination and creativity that will give her great joy.  Let’s give her ability to reveal our heart to others.  She will learn My love,” says Jesus, “and comprehend its depths.  She is My beloved, and she understands that.”  “She will hear My voice every moment,” says Holy Spirit, “and our relationship will be great fun….I can see the joy and laughter we will share!”  “I will surround her with My Presence,” declares Father.  “This is good.   This is very good!”

God’s love is growing with every person He sees; giving each one special uniqueness and the touch of His creativity.    With great excitement they declare in unison…”are we ready?”

…”LET THERE BE LIGHT!”

…to be continued…..

Judy

Advertisements

PROVING OR TESTING?

Ever feel like you live from one crisis to the next?   Maybe a little fearful of the future and what it holds?   I guess that is called life.   There is a song that states we were never promised a rose garden, but those thorns!   Yikes!

What if …..  there is a way to turn those crisis into opportunities for God to show up in a magnificent way?   What if ….   I no longer had to live in fear, but in the confidence of a God who knows me intimately and loves me without limits?

So, how does one who claims the faith deal with life’s crisis?   I believe we have missed something vital to our process.   Let’s call it our identity as God sees us.   Most of us in the faith live life with a goal in our eyes; to be like Jesus.   When crisis hits the obvious fear and doubt raises its ugly head, and we are in a knock-down, drag-out fight to keep our chin up and hope in the Lord.  The problem always shows our lack of something or other that we know God says we need to live in victory.   The negative feelings are stronger than our resolve to overcome.   So we work at it diligently, pray and plead, rebuke and bind, and perhaps somewhere along the way we will find the right combination to open the lock and set us free.

We all remember the spies Moses sent into their promised land to check it out.  That raises a red flag in my mind.   First of all, the land was promised to them by God.   Did they not trust Him enough to give them something good?   The first thing they decided to do was form a committee to determine if what was promised them was “doable”.   I can’t judge them too harshly.   Been there.   Done that.  Have you ever been given a promise from God’s heart for you?   Enough said.

Well, as it turned out, the promised land was amazing!   Better than they ever imagined; but not without a challenge here and there.   Giants.   Big giants.   So big, in fact, that the men said they were grasshoppers compared to them.  Even though Joshua and Caleb encouraged the people in the Lord, the other 10 men discouraged them to the point that that entire generation except Joshua and Caleb did not ever enter into their promise because of their unbelief.    Unbelief in what?   In God; yes, and in much more as well.  Instead of the land owners God said they were, they still saw themselves as slaves.

Identity.   Who God says you are in Christ.   Our understanding of this truth will be the difference between works and rest; between joy and fear;   between entering into God’s promises and standing on the outside wondering what happened.  When we understand our God-given identity and talk it, think it, live it, the crises we encounter become opportunities for God to do what He does best.   Win.  The crisis becomes my opportunity to prove God’s love.  Most people call these experiences times of “testing”.   How about we change that to “times of proving”?

What you do does not determine who you are.   Who you are determines what you do.

Blessings,     Judy

LOVE SONG

Do you suppose…

that saying “yes” to Jesus’ redemptive act may have in it’s purpose Divine realities; mysteries that are unfolding for us and in us as we grow in our knowledge of God and His intention for us.

I was taught that I found God…what if the search began in His heart?

I believed that I chose Jesus…what if He had His sights on me even before the earth was created?

When I had my “conversion experience” I knew that my sins were forgiven and I would go to heaven after this life was over.  I believed that until that day it was my responsibility to align my behavior with Scriptural commands and goals.  I learned a lot about what being a Christian was all about, and considered myself fairly well versed on the subject.   I was completely given to God and His purposes, and found myself, for the most part, satisfied with my image.  It was all, of course, to serve the Lord..  Pleasing Him was my heart’s deepest desire.

I would like to share something so vital to my life that it goes beyond comprehension….  I have learned a lot since I knew it all.

Let’s go back; clear to the beginning; no, even before time began as we understand it.  We read in Ephesians 1:4 that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him.  Jesus, God in the flesh, the ultimate and only worthy sacrifice for the sin of mankind was slain in God’s mind before the foundation of the earth.  And you are included in that moment when all of mankind was reconciled to God.

What does that say to you?  Does it reveal anything about God’s nature, His motives toward men, and the object of His love?   Jesus is what the Bible is all about.  You are what Jesus is all about.  You were included in His heart before one blade of grass was created, or one drop of water landed on the ocean floor.

What if my salvation experience contains more than I realize?  What if it is a response to a love song that resonated throughout the universe before time began.  What if God has been singing His love song – filling the universe, filling every created thing with His deepest love, waiting for my response?

…..listen to the words….in Christ you are redeemed, you are righteous, you are sanctified and set apart for my love.

His song, resonating, reaching your heart…

….I have set you free!  Free from sin and its curse.   I have freely given you all my heart and all things; grace upon grace upon grace.  I have done it all for you, and I am listening eagerly for your response.  I have placed in you my very Spirit; a Divine spark of life that was there in the beginning.

The mission of Jesus was not to begin the Christian religion.  His mandate was to reveal and redeem the image and likeness of God in human form.   (Francois du Toit)  My conversion is not something I do; it is my response to God’s heart for me.  It is not something to join or works to perform; it is acknowledging the fact that Jesus has already finished for me everything I will ever need.  It is finished.

He has made me brand new.  Not remodeled, not a cleaned-up sinner or a sinner saved by grace.  I am an entirely new creation made in God’s likeness and image.

“Now the Lord and the Spirit are one; his Lordship sanctions our freedom.  A freedom from rules chiseled in stone to the voice of our redeemed design echoing in our hearts!

The days of window-shopping are over!  In him every face is unveiled.  In gazing with wonder at the blueprint likeness of God displayed in human form, we suddenly realize that we are looking at ourselves!  Every feature of his image is mirrored in us!  This is the most radical transformation engineered by the Spirit of the Lord; we are led from an inferior mind-set to the revealed endorsement of our authentic identity.  You are his glory.”    2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (Mirror)

My reality shifts. My identity is defined.

Grace upon grace upon grace……..

Judy

STANDING IN AWE

John 3:16-17.  One of our most beloved and quoted Bible verses.   “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.   For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

The absolute truth:  God is love.  He doesn’t only have love, or show love.  Love defines Him.  Love is who He is.  Today’s scripture describe the way His love has been freely given to us….freely given to the world.

How great is His love?  So far beyond man’s ability to understand or comprehend.  It is not to be analyzed and dissected…it is to be received.  We read that God loves the world.  Who exactly does that include?  Those who are deserving by some sort of earned basis?  Those who prove themselves worthy?  Maybe God’s love is reserved only for those who believe.

Let’s take another look….the world.   Every human in all of human history; past, present and future, are objects of His love.    Absolutely every one.  There are no exceptions.  Many people believe that the cross is for only those who accept it.  But God doesn’t put any requirements on who He loves.  The world.  Perhaps it includes the whole of creation.  What if….His love goes far beyond the boundaries we have put in place?  So far beyond our human reasoning and logic, it simply doesn’t make sense.

Yes, God is love, man reasons, but His is also just!  And righteousness.   And holy – pure powerful holiness.  And they are correct in their evaluations.   But let’s look at God’s holiness, righteousness and justice from His eyes.   We may be pleasantly surprised.

God is just…an absolute fact.  Justice has many definitions, but in the most concise sense, justice means giving to each what is due.  Yes, God is just.  He demonstrates His justice in a most remarkable way…by taking upon Himself what is due mankind.  That is called love.   God is also righteous.  He has a righteousness and standard that no man can reach.  He does not demand righteousness from us; He gives us His righteousness.   2 Cor. 5:21 states; “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”   God places His own righteousness in us.  It is not a matter or what we have; it is a matter of who we are.   It is a matter of identity.  Because of His great love, we don’t have the righteousness of God; we are the righteousness of God.  If that truth doesn’t penetrate to the depths of your soul, I suggest you read it until it does.

God is holy.  So true.  God is so holy that sin cannot stand in His presence.  His love-driven holiness is freely given to you, not demanded from you.  I believe the same is true with every commandment we read in the Scripture.  Look at them through the cross.  Everything we will ever need has already been supplied and provided for by Jesus’ total redemptive work on the cross.

We are His righteousness; we stand in His holiness and are subjects of His justice in Christ.  Jesus did it all.  What do we have to do to attain these marvelous attributes?  There is absolutely nothing at all that we can add to or subtract from His finished work.  To even assume that is a gross insult to His atoning work on our behalf.  I receive His righteousness.  I receive His holiness.  I receive the freedom of His justice.

One last thought:  John 3:17 tells us that God entered our world not to condemn it, but to redeem it.  Condemnation is not in God’s agenda any more.  That was totally removed at Calvary.  “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death.”   Romans 8:1-2

I love the church.  I have felt that was as long as I can remember.   Lately, however, I feel something new growing in me.  I can truly say that I love the world – not because the world is “lost”, but because the world is loved.

God is love.   Let’s focus on that for a while and see where the Holy Spirit takes us!  It will leave you speechless at the wonder of His Majesty.  I promise.

Blessings,   Judy