Monday, February 21, 2011

When God Loves You

Hi Everyone~

Did you enjoy the weekend? We had fabulous weather! What about you? Did you visit with family, or spend time making cards or scrap-booking?  I did not make one item in my art room!  But, is it organized!  I am ready for the next bunch of birthday and anniversary cards.  And, I did color in 25 little images while resting on the couch.  This week I need to cut them up, and make them into cards! (Perhaps you will see them soon.) That will get me caught up for January and February at SplitCoastStamper's Christmas Card Challenge 2011.  And, it will give me 5 cards to give away to charity.  Anyone have any  especially interesting sermon topics at church that I would love to know about?  I would--you know!

Today's post is the last post I will be sharing from this book for a while.  I am jumping ahead to another study book for the time being.  I am enjoying The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren a lot, however.  I am going to be sharing directly from that book whenever you see "quotation marks." My thoughts-- writing is in italics.  I just wanted to be clear about what are his words, and not accidentally take credit. I did, however, capitalize the word He, Him...any word that refers to our Lord.   But, this post is so meaningful to me today. I hope it will be for you also. I hope you will read it, and think about where it fits in your life.  I am certain that something in this post will ring true with you...because there are Scriptures included, and they are THE Truth.  It's His Word.  It has to be the truth.  Scriptures are always in red ..BOLD! Here we go...

Do you believe that God only loves you, or is happy with you when you are doing "Christian" things?  That is not true.  First of all, He loves us all of the time.  No matter what.  Secondly, He does love you when you are attending church, reading the Bible, spending time in prayer, tithing, or sharing the Good News about Him with others.  Of course He loves us when we do these things. But, did you know that "God enjoys watching "every" detail of your life?"  He  enjoys watching you whether you are at work, riding a bike, sleeping, or having a picnic! 

"The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.  He delights in every detail of their lives."  Psalm 37:23

"Like a proud parent, God especially enjoys watching you use the talents and abilities He has given you.  God intentionally gifted us differently for His enjoyment.  He has made some to be athletic and some to be analytical.  You may be gifted at mechanics or mathematics or music or a thousand other skills.  All these abilities can bring a smile to God's face."

"He has shaped each person in turn; now He watches everything we do." 
 Psalm 33:15

This part really pinched a little.  And, I am going to quote Mr. Warren again...he wrote it perfectly, in my opinion. 

"You don't bring glory or pleasure to God by hiding your abilities or by trying to be someone else.  You only bring Him enjoyment by being you.  Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God's wisdom and sovereignty in creating you." 

OUCH!  That smarts!  So, every time, I look for my missing waist line, and curse my body, I am not being grateful. I am not helping my self esteem any.  And, worst of all, I am not pleasing Him.  Just the opposite.  Maybe you aren't the fastest runner in the group.  Or you don't make the prettiest snacks in your Bible Study group.  It doesn't matter what it's the result that is important.  And, on my computer table are the words...

"I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14 

I have those words here, because I probably spend most of my time here.  And, when I get tired of this disabled body...that was fitted for a brace today...a difficult step for me... My husband...the Atheist...tells me the previous Scripture.  He memorized it to remind me.  I just wanted to share how deeply this part of the book impacted me.  I hope that you see some wisdom in here, also.

"You have no right to argue with your Creator.  You are merely a clay pot shaped by a Potter.  The clay doesn't ask, "Why did you make me this way?"  Isaiah 45:9 (Contemporary English Version)

I wanted to mention this--I think the lesson above...would be a wonderful way to talk with a child/teen that didn't make the football team, or studied really hard and only got a "D."  I think it is perfect for the young girl who was picked on because some children who were acting out made fun of her nose, or perhaps a young man who isn't as muscular as the "other kids." 

 I believe using God's Word, at the child's level is a great way to teach. Have a child's Bible with actual Scriptures on hand...and show them where it is in the Bible...where God said to put it.  I also believe using examples of people from the Bible helps make it more real to them. Perhaps something like: " Did you know that Noah had no idea to build that ark?  God told Him exactly how to do it. How would you know how to handle that situation?  You were never in it before~"  They may think that Noah knew absolutely everything.  But we as humans make mistakes...all of the time.  In judgement, and by doing things that do not please God.  These things are sin.  I hope I didn't go on too much.  I just felt it was really important to share this.  I do have a background with children in a church setting, and in preschools and public schools...even though I don't have a degree.  I am just wonderful me!  ;) 

"God also enjoys pleasure in watching you enjoy His creation. He gave you eyes to enjoy beauty, ears to enjoy sounds, your nose and taste buds to enjoy smells and tastes. Every act of enjoyment becomes an act of worship when you thank God for it."

"God...generously gives us everything for our enjoyment." 1 Timothy 6:17                                                                                                   
Joshua, my now grown son, didn't have to do anything big for me to enjoy him.  I was happy when he made the cutest little yawns when he was a baby!  How silly does that seem!  I would crawl under his crib some nights, and just peek out far enough to watch him sleep.  Sometimes, I would cry from the great amount of joy that I felt from being his Mom.  I didn't know Jesus then.  But, I felt that I knew God when I was Jewish...and I felt that He had given me the care of the greatest gift possible. 

"When you are sleeping, God gazes at you with love, because you were His idea.  He loves you as if you were the only person on earth.  Parents do not require their children to be perfect, or even mature to enjoy them.  They enjoy them at every stage of development.  In the same way, God doesn't wait for you to reach maturity before He starts liking you.  He loves you and enjoys you at every stage of your spiritual development."

"What God looks at is the attitude of your heart.  Is pleasing Him your deepest desire?  When we are growing spiritually, we go from asking "How much am I enjoying life?" to "How much pleasure is God getting from my life?" God is looking for people like Noah in the 21st century---people willing to live for the pleasure of God."

"The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who are wise, who want to please God."  Will you make pleasing God the goal of your life?" 

Where will you begin?  What might you change?  How will you know if you are accomplishing your goal?  These are things I think we would all like to learn from each other.  How about encouraging your Sister-in-Christ by  sharing your thoughts comment section.  

He IS Able,
Traci S. 

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