God uses events in our lives to shape us, to teach us, to grow us — and some of the key events are those sparked by sin (our own or someone sinning against us), by our missteps, by our confusion. Memories of the past, therefore, can too easily feel like shackles holding us to failures, regrets, ignorance, foolishness, and sin. However, God never intended for any one of us to be bound to our past.
If your past feels like a wilderness, know that God wants to make a road through it, perhaps to help you navigate the difficult years and salvage the good. If your past feels like a desert, filled up with mirages, a land of lingering hopelessness, know God will make rivers of redemption flow as He brings beauty out of ashes. Embrace the risk of embracing all the fresh beginnings God wants to give you.
Isaiah 43:16-21 The Message
16-21 This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then can’t get up;
they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’
—the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
rivers through the sunbaked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
“Live life like you love living!”
“Live life like you were Loving Life”
There are a lot of things that excite people in life. There’s music, sports, money excites a lot of people! What gets your “I love to my life” going?
Why does culture and society become so excited over man made achievements and events in life?
Have you noticed over the long course of these past 12 months, and indeed back into 2020 when pandemic swept over our lives, a lot of the things our society has held dear in the past, because of the pandemic, doesn’t seem to mean so much anymore, to a lot of people? Do we sense somehow, our priorities differ?
Frustration levels seem higher than they have ever been, because one too many limits have been placed in our paths and rigorously enforced of our freedoms!
The attitude of, “well…if it’s not affecting me or my family” is long a thing of the past. Because this forerunner of things to come has 100% affected all of us!
I can remember following and watching a lot of things, like the news, sports, and finding new restaurants to “be getting out of the house” eat out. Things I once found intriguing, interesting, now I find myself not caring so much about!
Our passions along with our sense of personal security, our sense of personal space and freedoms have been subjected to regulations, in an effort to set new boundaries of who we are and what the future supposedly holds for mankind.
But who we are is not something which can be altered or changed so easily, as long as we remember who’s we are! We belong to Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
For just a moment, it seems as though we the church have been caught up, in both following and marching to the same beat of the drum, everyone else has.
Wake up Church, that’s not who we are and not who we were created to be!
For everyone who proclaims the name of Christian we are Christ’s followers, that’s who we are! We have an eternal identity, and we should easily embrace it and embrace being identified by the world, because of our identity in Christ!
We have a heritage to embrace, we have a future to embrace, we also have a destiny to embrace! Have a God to embrace! Have a resurrection to embrace!
I desire each of us to embrace a scripture which should be read over and over, until it becomes an indelible part of the tapestry of yours and mine very being!
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-14 The Message
The God of Glory
3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
(WHAT KIND OF PLACES? Places of favor we could never achieve with any amount of labor!) of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind,
(Who was on His mind? Insert your name right here!)
had settled on us as the focus of his love,
to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving
(I have to ask, what kind of gift giving? “IMMEASURABLE! GIFT! GIVING!”) by the hand of his beloved Son.
11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, for glorious loving, a glorious part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone in this moment.
13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This down payment from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
The scripture gives such great definition to Jeremiah 29:11! The plans which God has for us, for our well-being, for our welfare! Plans for our future and what glorious plans they are, as we just read! Pland for living and loving life.
Who are you and Who’s Are You? There should be no question, or hesitation. If you’re a Christian, the correct answer is, I am my Lord and Savior Christ’s! I am an adopted son or daughter of the absolute highest God! I intend to embrace it!
I am an heir to an indescribable future,
I have an eternal inheritance in heaven coming to me and
I am somebody, because God has made me Somebody!
I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
I desire nothing more than to jealously embrace the whole Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior! As my only source of salvation in whom I 100% trust.
I desire nothing more than to jealously embrace the whole of God’s Scriptures for my personal instructional guide – let the Scriptures speak God’s life into me.
I desire nothing more than to jealously embrace the whole of Christ’s church for my koinonia, my fellowship with my brothers and sisters and all my neighbors.
I desire nothing more than to jealously embrace every corner of the whole world for my mission field from home which serves as one of my God’s sanctuaries.
Acts 1:6-8 AKJV
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Here is a question for believers to embrace moving into the New Year 2022. What are you expecting God to do for you and those you hold dear in your life?
If your best and greatest answer, is shrugging your shoulders “I don’t know,” then you are probably settling and getting only the crumbs from the masters table, when you could be busy with abundance, feasting at the masters’ table!
Embrace this! God has prepared an extravagant feast big enough to feed the entire world. The time has come for you to claim your chair at God’s table, and start to consistently enjoy the feast that has been bountifully prepared for you
If you and I do not start embracing this now, will you and I ever begin? Tell me, brother, sisters, who gets all dressed up for dinner and does not eat the meal?
The time for wasting time is over! There’s a new norm that is coming, one you had better start jealously embracing. The new norm is God’s standard of living!
Jealously embrace “wonderful” in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Jealously embrace “marvelous” in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Jealously embrace “magnificent” in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Jealously embrace “superb” in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
YES! those are a few descriptive words of what lies ahead for the church and Gods anointed believers, it will be God’s Glory beyond belief without a doubt!
But right now……It’s time to praise and thank God for what has already been supplied and to raise our praise along with our expectation of the blessings in the pipeline “even right now in this orchestrated chaos” awaiting deliverance!
Jealously embrace this beautiful, glorious truth, God does not want any of His Children to have to settle for anything less, than His very best!” (Reread again)
“Live life like you love living!”
“Live God like you love living!”
“Love God like you love living!”
“Embrace God like you embrace life”
“Embrace Loving God like you Embrace Loving Life!”
“Embrace Loving God like you Embrace Loving Living Life!”
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us jealously embrace God in this moment of prayer,
40 1-3 I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.
4-5 Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God,
turn your backs on the world’s “sure thing,”
ignore what the world worships;
The world’s a huge stockpile
of God-wonders and God-thoughts.
Nothing and no one
compares to you!
I start talking about you, telling what I know,
and quickly run out of words.
Neither numbers nor words
account for you.
6 Doing something for you, bringing something to you—
that’s not what you’re after.
Being religious, acting pious—
that’s not what you’re asking for.
You’ve opened my ears
so I can listen.
7-8 So I answered, “I’m coming.
I read in your letter what you wrote about me,
And I’m coming to the party
you’re throwing for me.”
That’s when God’s Word entered my life,
became part of my very being.
9-10 I’ve preached you to the whole congregation,
I’ve kept back nothing, God—you know that.
I didn’t keep the news of your ways
a secret, didn’t keep it to myself.
I told it all, how dependable you are, how thorough.
I didn’t hold back pieces of love and truth
For myself alone. I told it all,
let the congregation know the whole story.
11-12 Now God, don’t hold out on me,
don’t hold back your passion.
Your love and truth
are all that keeps me together.
When troubles ganged up on me,
a mob of sins past counting,
I was so swamped by guilt
I couldn’t see my way clear.
More guilt in my heart than hair on my head,
so heavy the guilt that my heart gave out.
13-15 Soften up, God, and intervene;
hurry and get me some help,
So those who are trying to kidnap my soul
will be embarrassed and lose face,
So anyone who gets a kick out of making me miserable
will be heckled and disgraced,
So those who pray for my ruin
will be booed and jeered without mercy.
16-17 But all who are hunting for you—
oh, let them sing and be happy.
Let those who know what you’re all about
tell the world you’re great and not quitting.
And me? I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing:
make something of me.
You can do it; you’ve got what it takes—
but God, don’t put it off. (Psalm 40 The Message)
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.