Tuesday, February 2, 2016

God Will Finish the Work

Oh, Lord, help me yield completely to you.
Take me out of the way of the work that you do.
For I’m just a branch, and you are the Vine.
I am powerless unless in you I’m entwined.
Any good work people see in me
Is the project you started and you will complete.

“I thank my God every time I remember you….
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:3 & 6

ĕpitĕlĕō2005 – to fulfill further (or completely), i.e. execute; by impl. to terminate, undergo: - accomplish, do, finish, (make) (perfect), perform (X –ance).

 Ultimate Make-over

            Perform the jaw reconstruction necessary to correct my overbite, and whiten my teeth while you’re at it. Tone and firm my abdomen after ridding me of excess fat. Remove the unsightly moles from my face and back. Free me from glasses.  Style my unruly hair, shape my eyebrows, and use make-up to mask anything that can’t be permanently repaired.
           
If I won a spot on that television show where someone is granted their dream make-over, it would change my outward appearance. All of the things I listed would make it easier for me to look good each day, but none of them would change who I am. And none of them would make me what I really need to be.

Have you ever just exhausted yourself trying to be all that others want you to be, all you wish you could be, and what you think God expects you to be? 

Face it; we are not capable of re-making ourselves. However, there is One who is able to take an old, broken down me and bring forth a new creation! (II Corinthians 3:17) It really isn't a matter of trying but of dying (Galatians 2:20).  We must daily die to ourselves and allow Christ to live through us. God will be faithful to completely finish the good work he starts in us. We just have to keep placing ourselves in his skilled hands. The ultimate "make-over" can be yours. Just trust yourself to the Master Creator and be amazed at what He will do!


Father, I thank you that self-improvement is not what you desire of me. I thank you that you are orchestrating life’s ups and downs to make me more like Jesus. Continue to “mold me and make me after your will,” as the old hymn says. I can no more make myself more like Jesus than the lump of clay can turn itself into a beautiful vase. So Lord, I rest in your ability to form me according to your will and submit to your hand as you spin this pottery wheel called earth each day, shaping me with every turn. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

GIFTS FROM GOD

“Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change3883 like shifting shadows.
He chose1014 to give us birth through the word of truth,
that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
James 1:16-18


3883 – parallagē-  transmutation (of phase or orbit), i.e. (fig.) fickleness: - variableness.

1014 – bŏulŏmai – to “will,” i.e. (refl.) be willing: - be disposed, 
minded, intend, list, (be, of own) will (-ing).

Blessings in my garden - banana peppers

Father, you are never-changing, steady and in command.
Every blessing in my life came down from Your hand.
You chose to draw me to You  through the word of truth,
That I might have eternal life and ever be with You.
Since You have adopted me to be among your daughters,
I now, through grace, have access to Your springs of living waters.
Help those springs flow through me, spill out and overflow
That I might have the privilege of helping others know
 The marvelous grace You’ve extended to each one
Who, by faith, receives the gift You provided through Your Son.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Temptation

Purslane Attracting Bee

“Blessed is the man who perseveres5278 under trial, because when he has stood the test,
 he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
 When tempted,3985 no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Do not be deceived, my dear brothers”
James 1:12-16

5278 – hupŏmĕnŏ – to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; fig. to undergo, i.e. bear (trials) have fortitude, persevere: - abide, endure, (take) patient(-ly), suffer, tarry behind.

3985 – pĕirazō – to test (obj.), i.e. endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline: - assay, examine, go about, prove, temp (-er), try.


Only through Your power, Lord, can I not be dragged away.
I pray Your Spirit within me will give me strength to stay
On the path of righteousness, the straight and narrow way.
When desires draw me in like a flower draws a bee,
Help me, Lord, to turn around and from temptation flee;
For I long to receive a crown life, to lay as a gift before Thee.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Fading Flowers


Daylilies fading after summer bloom.

“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.
But the one who is rich should take pride2744 in his low position,
because he will pass away like a wild flower.
For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant;
its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.
In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.”
James 1:9-11

2744 – kauchaŏmai – to vaunt (in a good or a bad sense): - (make)boast, glory, joy, rejoice.

Father, keep me from taking pride in material gain or glory;
for all possessions will fade away, as will my earthly story.
Help me to remember that this life is a mist or a fading flower,
But I will someday dwell with You through your grace and power.
Keep my eyes on the pure joy of knowing Christ, my Lord.
Please help me focus on Your will and seek it in Your word. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012


WISDOM

“If any of you lacks wisdom,4678 he should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
But when he asks, he must believe4102 and not doubt,
 because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”
James 1:5-8

4678 – sŏphia – wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual).

4102 – pistis – persuasion, i.e. credence: mor. conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher) especially reliance upon Christ for salvation: abstr. constancy in such a profession: by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.


When a believer asks in faith
for wisdom from our Lord,
he can rest assured it will be given
as promised in His word.
If he would avoid being tossed about
like a wave upon the sea,
he must put his faith in Christ alone
to meet his every need.


Saturday, June 30, 2012


Perseverance


“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Greetings.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance5281.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.”
James 1:1-4

5281 - hupŏmŏnē – from 5278: cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

5278 – hupŏmĕnō – to stay under (behind), i.e. remain: fig. to undergo i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere: - abide, endure, (take) patient(-ly), suffer, tarry behind.


The winds blow and the crape myrtle bows completely to the ground.
The spring rains pour, and the soggy branches appear to be totally drowned.
But each trial just seems to strengthen my favorite flowering tree.  
The trials of life blow in like winds and knock me to the floor.
The testing of my faith, like rain, seems to continually to pour.
But by God’s grace, I persevere; and the Father strengthens me.  


June 30, 2012


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Psalm 118 - My Strength and My Song

The Lord brings songbirds to my backyard each day.
He also brings a songto my heart as I meditate
on his saving grace extended to me.
“I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.”

“You are my god, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.”

Psalm 118:13-14, 28-29

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.”
He is my strength to carry on
each day in every endeavor.
When I’ve been about to fall,
the Lord has helped me to stand.
My God is sovereign: he is Lord,
and nothing can thwart his plan.
You are my God. I give you thanks.
You’re my Savior to whom praise is due.
You will be my constant song,
and forever I’ll worship you.