Thursday, July 31, 2014

Psalm 139, Part 4

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.~verses 13-16

 

This study comes at an opportune time. That’s always cool, and I like to think of it as a God thing. I’ll mention below why I find this applicable right now. First, let’s try to figure out the meaning of these words. Many times, the first verses are used by pro-lifers to advocate their position. Being pro-life, I agree with that usage. Today, however, I would like to apply them more broadly.

Let’s think about it… God formed us. He knows us, knows all about us, and knows the lives he wants us to live. We should be thankful for ourselves, everything about us, for it says Wonderful are your works! What is his work in this context? Us! People. We all remember the popular meme—God doesn’t make junk. We are intricately woven, fearfully and wonderfully made.

Remember the admonition, love others as we love ourselves? That means we are to love ourselves, warts, buckteeth, double chins, short legs, and all. Perhaps we are not the best Candy Crush player, perhaps we are clumsy at sports, perhaps we’re only average in intelligence…the list can go on and on. None of that makes us failures. God formed us to do HIS work, not the things we think are important. 

I watched The Lego Movie the other night. Emmett says this:

You don't have to be the bad guy. You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are the Special. And so am I. And so is everyone. The prophecy is made up, but it's also true. It's about all of us. Right now, it's about you. And you... still... can change everything.

And that is true of each of us! God has given each of us a destiny. These words, in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them, do not mean what we think they mean upon first reading. It does not mean we are predestined to live out a certain life. No! Instead, these words mean God has predestined a path for us, a path upon which we will fulfill our destiny, the destiny he formed us to live. It is up to us to choose to walk that path, it is up to us to stay on that path, it is up to us to know we have a path, even when Satan whispers lies in our ears.

One interesting part of this passage says, my soul knows it very well. What do you feel in your bones, what do you really know about yourself, what will you do when you discover your purpose? How do you feel when you know you are intricately woven by God’s own hands to fulfill your purpose here upon this earth?

Don’t let Satan’s lies, his whispers, destroy your faith in yourself. Be courageous! God has given you all you need!

P.S. Oops. Almost forgot to say why these words come at an opportune time for me. I went into a-fib yesterday. This is at least the fifth time this has occurred. When my heart acts up, fear begins to boil and spills over into my life. I have to remember that God has set me on this path and I cannot let fear overwhelm me! I hope to work for God as long as I draw breath and even when fear threatens to defeat me!

m16

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Study of Psalm 139, Part 3

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. ~verses 7-12

 

What comforting words when we are bowed down with sorrow. Even in our darkest of times, God is with us and provides us with light. These verses uplift our spirits. No matter the trials and tribulations we find ourselves faced with, God will see us through it, if we allow him. Someone asked the other day if a Christian can ever be lost. After all Romans 8:38-39 says

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

However, we can separate ourselves from God—nothing can cause us to lose our salvation except our own foolish will. Romans 8:1 tells us that we must walk after the Spirit to avoid condemnation. Some of us turn aside from our first love, forgetting our purpose. But, if we stay in God’s hand, he will hold us up. Let us encourage one another, to remain faithful. Our reward will be great when we pass the finish line.

A friend shared this on Facebook that details how a person will feel when they die and go to Heaven:

This isn't death--it's glory!
It isn't dark--it's light!
Or even faith--It's sight!
This isn't grief--it's having
My last tear wiped away;
It's sunrise--it's the morning
Of my eternal day!

This isn't even praying--it's speaking face to face
Listening and glimpsing
The wonders of His grace.

This is the end of pleading
For strength to bear my pain;
Not even pain's dark mem'ry
Will ever live again.

How did I bear the earth-life
Before I came up higher,
Before my soul was granted its every deep desire,
Before I knew this rapture
Of meeting face to face
The One Who sought me, saved me,
And kept me by His grace!
~Martha Snell Nicholson

Yes, this world is not my home, we’re just passing through. We’re not bodies with a soul but souls with a body—no more than souls. Within our souls dwell our Sprit, the Spirit we’re commanded to use when we worship God. Our Spirits will be with God forever and how glorious that will be!

It’s natural to mourn when loved ones die—after all, Jesus mourned with Martha and Mary in the death of Lazarus. However, after the mourning, after the saying of the temporary goodbyes, after the tears are dried, we should rejoice that our loved ones have gone on to be with the Lord, where there will be no more pain, no more dark memories, no more sorrow but instead the glow of the Savior’s face, his touch, his smile.

We are on this shore watching the ship sail away. On the other shore are those welcoming the ship full of the saved. Let us not mourn as one who has no hope. Instead, let us imagine the joy our loved ones feel as they are welcomed to their permanent home, the place where all tears are wiped away!