Monday, July 20, 2015

He Knows My Name

Singer/songwriter Francesca Battistelli and Mercy Ministries teamed up to make a powerful video about healing, redemption and restoration.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Psalm 139:13-18

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Let's take a moment to review what we've learned so far in Psalm 139.  In verses 1-6, we learned that God knows all about us (every intimate detail) and yet still longs for a personal relationship with us.  Then in verses 7-12, we discover that God’s presence is with us wherever we go.  There is no place we can be where He is not with us!  Verses 13-18 build on these concepts, taking us a step further.  Let’s start by reading the text from the NIV:

13For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Here we see God as our Creator, Elohim.  In Genesis 1, Elohim SPOKE  and the world came into being.  He breathes  life!  You may be wondering why you were created.  Answer: You were created by Him, for Him—for His glory.  Isaiah 43:7 says “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”  

Do you know what glory means?  One definition of glory is 'to take great pride or pleasure in'.  That means God takes great pride and pleasure in His creation of YOU!  Another definition is 'to give the correct opinion or estimate of'.  In other words, we are to live in such a way that we give all of creation a correct opinion or estimate of who God is.  So if the reason we were created is to please God and bring Him glory, ask yourself: "is that how I am living today?"  Are you living in such a way that you give others a correct opinion or estimate of who God is?  How would you live differently if you viewed your purpose here on earth as to live for His glory?

Look at verses 13-15 and see how intricately God made us.  Let’s look at some of the key words used to describe how we were made

Created (13): to bring something into existence                                
Knit (13): like a garment made of knitted fabric; to cause to unite
Made (15): to cause something to exist; to bring about or form by putting parts together
Woven (15): to make from a number of interconnected elements; to make fabric by interlacing

These words describe something that is done with great care.  Words like knit and woven are used to describe the making of a quilt.  This process begins with a plan, a pattern, a design for what the finished quilt will look like.  Then it takes many hours of countless stitches and great care to create the finished product.  The same is true of God when He created you.  He had a plan from the beginning of what He would design you to be like.  Then He spoke you into being with great care, stating that 'even the very hairs of your head are all numbered' (Matthew 10:30).   Indeed the fabric of who you are is 'fearfully and wonderfully made' because God’s 'works are wonderful' (14).

Do you believe you are fearfully and wonderfully made?  Or do you look at yourself in disgust?  Do you fall into a trap of self-loathing, comparisons and envy?  Do you feel that if things about you were different then things would be better for you?  Do you realize that when you do this, you are criticizing God, Elohim, your creator, who took such great care in creating you exactly how He did.  

We as humans have a knack for focusing and dwelling on the most minor flaws.  You may be concerned that one of your favorite designer shirts has a small stain on it whereas others are just grateful to have any clothes to wear.  It's all about our perspective isn't it?  Beloved, instead of focusing on all the things you don’t have or wished you had, focus on fulfilling your purpose in creation—to please God and bring Him glory.  You may not understand right now how you are supposed to bring Him glory, but you can trust in the Lord and have peace in knowing that you are the way you are for a reason.    

So if we were created by God for His glory, why are we constantly trying to hide who we really are? We wear clothes that best cover our "flaws" and we wear masks to cover up how we are truly thinking and feeling.  In this passage we see again that nothing about us is hidden from God.  Look at the phrases in verses 15 and 16.  Phrases like not hidden (15), secret place (15), depths of the earth (15), and unformed body (16).  We may be experts at hiding things from each other, but we cannot hide from God.  

Allie Marie Smith says in her book Healthy Eating, Abundant Living 
        "As daughters of God we are made to live in the light, but too often we opt for the darkness either because its familiar and safe or because we are ashamed of our secrets. It's in the light that our sin and shame is cleansed and wiped away. We must have bare-naked hearts that can be completely open and honest before God first, ourselves second and others third." (pg 16).

You are SO wonderfully made that you don't have to hide.  You can rejoice in God's creation of you.  Rejoice in all your flaws and quirks.  It is what makes you, YOU.  God wouldn't have spent so much time, love and tender care on you if He didn't have a plan and a purpose for your life.  Ask God to help you to see yourself as He sees you.  I pray that you will be able to marvel in God's creation...His creation of YOU!