30 Days of Gratitude – Day 28 God’s Unmerited Favor

Today I’m grateful for the unmerited favor the God has shown to me.  I’ve been living in a dark whole for many months and though I know that God was with me in that whole, today the light was visible.  It  was like I was lost in a dark forest, unable to find my way out and today finally the light shown thorough the branches of the trees.

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Where there was once despair there is now hope.  I’m back in God’s Word, after being away for more than four months, which has filled me with such joy, hope, inspiration, a kick in the butt (greatly needed), grace, and blessings beyond measure.   Today’s readings have not only reminded me of God’s grace, and hope but the truth that He is always there and so is His Word and the richness there of.

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During my times of depression when it was all I could do to get up watch TV, figure something out to eat and take care of my dog, there were times when I knew God was with me.  Most of the time I had to take that as a step of faith, that God was still there no matter how alone I felt, occasionally and these where rare but I’m oh so grateful for them, there were times when I could actually feel His embrace.  It was in those times that my faith was faltering that God was so kind as to shore up my faith and bless my wounded heart with the warmth of His embrace.  It is something I will never forget or take for granted.  Maybe it’s a sign of my own weakness that He came to me in such a physical way but weakness or not He knew what I needed at that very moment.  I was all alone and desperate and needed to feel loved.  I’m not saying that I’m anyone special because of that embrace, honestly more likely I’m someone less special.  I would love to say that my faith is so strong that I don’t doubt or cry out to God to show Himself, but sadly that is not the case.

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In this area and in many other areas God is molding me and making me into the Christian that He would have me be.  Some days I’m a more willing piece of clay than others and because of that I’m so grateful for His grace.  I would love to say that I meet my trials with courage, fortitude and a strong faith, but more often than not I fail, fall to the ground, stay there a while and then figure it out to call on God to help me out.

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This piece of clay is not only hard, so it needs a lot of water and pressure from the Potter, it also has far too dry parts that need to be removed completely in order to work the clay properly.  The more the Potter works with this clay the more evident the hard dried out pieces become and the painful process of removal must take place.  Thankfully even with these pieces the Potter has not given up on this piece of clay.

If you’re like me and have your off days as well as your on fire days.  Take hope in the fact that God’s grace (unmerited favor) is limitless.  His love is unconditional as long as you are His child.  So, if you haven’t accepted what Christ did for you on the cross, which was paying the penalty for all our sins and that penalty is death, ask forgiveness of your sins (anything short of perfection), accept what Christ did on the cross for you and ask Him to come into your life and help you life the kind of life He wants you to live.  It’s as easy as that to become a child of God.

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 21 Grateful I Can Change

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Today I’m grateful that I can change with the help of God.

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Max Lucado puts it well in, “Grace for the Moment: A 365 Day Journaling Devotional” in January 21st entry called, “A Heart Like His”.

God wants us to be just like Jesus.  Isn’t that good news?  You aren’t stuck with today’s personality.  You aren’t condemned to “grumpydom.”  You are tweak able.  Even if you’ve worried each day of your life, you needn’t worry the rest of your life.  So what if you were born a bigot?  You don’t have to die one.

Where did we get the idea we can’t change?  From whence come statements such as, “It’s just my nature to worry.” or, “I’ll always be pessimistic. I’m just that way.”…Who says?  Would we make similar statements about our bodies?  “It’s just my nature to have a broken leg.  I can’t do anything about it.”  Of course not.  If our bodies malfunction, we seek help.  Shouldn’t we do the same with our hearts?  Shouldn’t we seek aid for our sour attitudes?  Can’t we request treatment for our selfish tirades?  Of course we can.  Jesus can change our hearts.  He wants us to have a heart like his.

What a blessing it is to know that change is possible.  If we are living with the cancer of bitterness we needn’t die with it.  Jesus can give us a heart of love and forgiveness that will kill the cancer of bitterness.  If we are hanging on to things of the past Jesus can help us to live in the present and let loose of the past that only hurts and interferes with our todays.  As the poem says, you won’t find God in the past He isn’t, I was, and don’t look for Him in the future He isn’t, I will be, look for Him in the present because His name is, I Am.

I’m so grateful for where God has brought me from already and I look forward to where He is going to bring me to in my journey to become more and more like Jesus.

Let Jesus do the work He has in store for you to bring you into His likeness.  We all must remember our place at the wheel.  We are the clay and He is the potter, longing to mold and make us in His likeness.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Little Clay Pots

This is reposted from the writer Anne Graham Lotz from her devotional: “The Joy of My Heart: Meditating Daily on God’s Word”

“You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and we are the work of Your hand.”   –     Isaiah 64:8  NKJV

The principle that suffering leads to glory is illustrated in Scripture by a vivid description of clay on the Potter’s wheel – clay that was once cracked, shattered, and broken, clay that was totally useless and ugly.  The Potter took the clay and broke it down even further, grinding it into dust then moistening it with water before He put it on His wheel and began to remake it into a vessel pleasing to Himself.  The cracks and chips became soft and pliable to the Potter’s touch.  But the clay was still soft and weak, the color dull and drab.  So the Potter placed the vessel into the fiery kiln, carefully keeping His eye on it as He submitted it to the raging heat.  At a timer He alone determined was sufficient, the Potter withdrew the pot from the furnace.  The blazing heat had radically transformed into a vessel of strength and glorious, multicolored beauty.

You and I are just little clay pots destined for glory!

Let’s let God do the work that He wants to do in our life.  Let’s become the clay pots that He has in mind for us.  It is not just a matter of obedience but of faith and trust and living a life that is fulfilling that brings glory to God.  I can’t think of a better way to live.  Can you?

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

More Than Conquerors

“If God is for us, who can be against us?”  – Romans 8:31b

There are so many times in a day that I forget that the battle has been won and I let the enemy get the best of me. Oh, that I would remember that the Omnipotent, Mighty, God is for me. If that were for front in my mind at all times I would live a life far different from the one I live now.

If I lived my life fully aware that God was for me and all that meant, I’d live a victorious life. God wants His children to succeed at things that are of His will, so that He will receive all the glory. When I live in victory it points the world to the One who is the source of that victory. That is one reason God wants us to be more than conquerors.

Our broken lives are nothing without Him. It is in our brokenness, when we turn it over to God, that the world sees the light of God shining through.

“You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘You did not make me’? Can the pot say to the potter, ‘You know nothing’?” – Isaiah 29:16

This is where people get the idea of God being the potter and us being the clay or the pot. In other verses of the Bible He talks about forming it for His purpose and what seems best to Him.

Being broken pots, those cracks of brokenness that we may be so ashamed of or embarrassed of, those are the very things that God uses to shine His glory through as He uses us. So let’s let God use us cracks and all. He doesn’t need strong people – they are self-reliant, that is why God uses the weak because it forces us to be God-reliant. Where He gets the glory He deserves.

So rather than being self-conscious or embarrassed or ashamed of our cracks let us remember that we have been chosen to be used of God with those cracks to shine the light of God on the world and show them how they too can be more than conquerors with the power of God in us.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart