Tag Archives: self-help

You are Wonderfully Made!

Meditation Journey Day 42                         

Hi Friend,

Did you know you were intricately woven in the depths of the earth? I did not either until I read verse 15 of Psalm 139. David is writing beautiful Hebrew poetry about our prenatal development: My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.” In these words of wisdom the Holy Spirit is revealing another facet of our unique purpose.

Shine 3The “depths of the earth” is our mother’s womb. The term “frame” does not just describe our skeletal structure. It is metaphor for the frame in which a beautiful tapestry is woven together. Medical science tells us that each person has between twenty to thirty thousand genes that determine everything about their physical make up. Our genes are like the strands of fabric that, in the secret place of the womb, God wove our being together as an artist would weave a masterpiece. Each strand of fabric He chose is of a different color and strength. We are uniquely made and created by God for our moment on the stage of life. He intricately” wove into our makeup just the right strengths, weakness, talents and abilities to give us an exclusive way to glorify Him and serve others.

The application of this truth to our lives is immensely important. All too often we disregard our uniqueness and compare ourselves to others. The Bible says comparison thinking is unwise “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise 2 Corinthians 10.

When we compare ourselves to others it is easy to come to the conclusion we are deficient in some way.  Or just the reverse happens. We compare ourselves to others, and we assume we are in some way superior. Both are traps of Satan and lead to rejecting ourselves or rejecting others. God says, in Isaiah 45, that when we reject ourselves we reject Him. When we reject other people on this criterion we are assuming a position of arrogance that is unwise.  We must stop comparing ourselves to other people, because God has really made us all different. There is no one like us and there never will be anyone just like us!

By design, He created us to reveal His workmanship. This is exactly what Paul wrote: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2. How could we compare ourselves to anyone when we are all designed differently to glorify God in distinctive ways?

It is also unwise to compare yourself to any one because God is the only one that knows all the twists and turns your life will take. He designed us to shine for Him in the mist of darkness, trials and tribulation that we cannot imagine. We may envy someone’s strength or beauty thinking they are so healthy looking not knowing they are filled with cancer! Only He knows the health issues we will experience. Only He knows the people we will meet and places we will go. There are no circumstances we will encounter that God does not know. He prepared us in advance to face all of life with His grace.

This is the key to appreciating our individual differences. Every strength, weakness, talent Shine 2and ability God has “intricately woven” into our being was given to glorify Him through His grace and strength.  We fulfill His purpose for our lives when He is living and loving through us. We are like light bulbs of different shapes, sizes and colors that only glow when the electricity of His Spirit radiates through us. If you think you have limitations, flaws or special “birth marks”, commit all your weakness to Him and allow them to become reminders of His design. Do not be distracted from His grace by comparing yourself to others. Allow the strong points and the weak points of your humanness to turn your heart to Him in humble gratefulness. We need to remember He works all things together for our good and His glory Romans 8. Then we will sing with David the song of the redeemed, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Walk in peace today knowing your Father prepared you in advance to glorify Him in the mist of your joys, trials, and struggles. Pray for others too and share this post; we all need this encouragement.

Observation: David wrote a beautiful poetic description of our prenatal development in verse 15. We are uniquely created. We show how unwise (ignorant) we are when we compare ourselves to others.

Interpretation: This verse reveals how God wove into our lives all the special strengths and weakness that makes us unique. We are designed to glorify Him at all times and in all places. We need to allow our strong and weak points to remind us He especially created us.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for making me. I do appreciate and thank you for designing my strengths and weaknesses. Help me to turn my focus to you every time I am tempted to compare myself to others. Help me to allow the electricity of Your Spirit to flow though me so that I can shine Your light into the darkness of this world. I am grateful for the way you wove me together. I accept myself as a gift from you. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

 

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You are a Special Creation!

Meditation Journey Day 41                             

Hi Friend,

Special UDo you ever think about why you are here? Why were you born in this time and place; to your parents and your family? Some children live with the message that they were an accident or a mistake that should never have happened. Other children were born into families that were desperate to have children; their parents planned and prayed for them daily. Regardless of our parents intention each of us are a miracle planned by God.

The Holy Spirit penned, through David’s Psalm 139:13-16, the amazing wonder of our prenatal development. It is a physical development and a spiritual one. In verses 13-16, God reveals not only the purpose for our unique physical appearance, but also the spiritual reason He created us!

For eternal change, give these verses a quick read several times today.

13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 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.

Special u 2The Expanded Bible says it this way:  “You made [created] my whole being [inward parts]; you formed [knitted] me in my mother’s body [womb].” Any way it is read the message is the same; God designed, created, and made you. He is the Author of our lives. He personally over sees the creation of every baby. Seven times the pronoun “You or Your”, referring to God, is written to underline the fact that God was personally involved in our development.

The message today is that we are not mistakes! No baby ever is an accident or an error. Our parents may or may not have planned or expected us to be, but God in His wisdom chose the moment of our conception.

Allow the thought of you being a special creation personally shaped and formed by the hands of God roll over in your mind. Stop rejecting yourself in any way. You should reject sin and negative thinking, and there maybe things you can do to improve your appearance or health, but stop beating up on yourself! God made you, all of you, for a reason. The rejection of our form is a rejection of Him and His design. Listen to what He says about rejecting ourselves.

“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to his mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’

“This is what the LORD says– the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?  It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.” Isaiah 45

In the Bible, “Woe” means stop quickly; it is severe warning to avoid wrong behavior or thinking. When we reject our physical shape and do not thank God for His creation; we build a wall between us and God. We judge His work and dictate to Him what He should have done and what He should be doing now. Each of us was created just as God designed because purpose and design are interconnected. We take away from our own purpose when we do not accept His design. We must humble ourselves to His wisdom and recognize ourselves as gifts from Him.

You are not a mistake. Nor is your body, mind or spirit unable to achieve God’s designed purpose for you. Do what you can to improve yourself, but stop rejecting who God made.  Give thanks for His creation and begin to say with David, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Observation: God formed, created, and made us each unique. We are strongly warned against rejecting His design and creation.

Interpretation: Our loving Father planned our moment of conception and all that is designed into us. We need to give thanks and praise for His purpose and enjoy the particular shape, gender and genes He knitted into our being. When we reject His design of us, we reject Him and the work of His hands. This sets up our prideful judgment of His plans and purposes for our live.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for making me. I know I have limits and restrictions because of the body you designed for me. I think my genetic makeup maybe better than some and worse than others, but Father I trust you to use me to glorify you with all my strengths and weaknesses. Please give me grace to yield to your design and plans   … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Who are You???

Meditation Journey Day 40                            

Hi Friend, ready to break camp and move on? This meditative journey into Psalm 139 has been exciting to me even though I have been walking through it for many years. This is true of all God’s Word. It never becomes boring when He walks us through His beautiful Kingdom of grace.

Ahead on our journey, in verses 13-16, are the  majestic mountains

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Majestic Mountains of Purpose

of Purpose. From their heights we will see the amazing and wonderful way God made us. David, the author of this psalm, will break into spontaneous praise and thanksgiving as he marvels at God’s creative work. I pray that we too will have eyes to see God’s beautiful purpose in us. God, help us to have ears to hear the whispers of Your joy in us in the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit.

Today, please pause and read through these four verses of Psalm 139:13-16 several times. Allow the Holy Spirit to begin to engraft them into your soul.

 “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.”

The world says we are simply biological accidents that emerged from the slime; just smart Hex coil 1germs. God says we are His beloved children made for a holy and high purpose. We have been formed to be His instruments of grace and love.

Remember, God’s word is “living and active.” (Hebrews 4) As you humbly receive His word you allow it to work in your heart. Receiving the truth that God has a divine and unique purpose for some people is very hard to believe. Please pray with me that each of us reading this today will began to see the distinctive and very special person God created us to be.

Observation: David gives us the revelation of how and why God created us in verses 13-16. He is overwhelmed by the purpose and plans of God for his life.

Interpretation: Knowing we are created by God with purpose is a powerful understanding. The world says people are just naked apes that come and go like any other animal. God’s word shatters that lie as we receive and believe the truth through Psalm 139.

Application Prayer: Father God, Thank you for making me. I am in awe that you take such interest in me. I am sure I will never fully understand why you saved me, but please help me to glorify you each day. Please help me to fulfill the purpose you created me for in this world. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Does God Dance with you?

Meditation Journey Day 38

Hi Friend,

Psalm 139 is a very condensed communication of God’s mercy and loving kindness to each of us. It is reasonable to believe God loves me when I am doing well, but to think He still loves me at my worst stretches my faith.

Consider verses 9 & 10 in our journey: “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” They tell us of the tender and reassuring love of God even when we are very sinful and rebellious. It is reasonable to believe God loves me when I am doing well, but to think He still loves me at my worst stretches my faith. In Psalm 139 this is exactly what David, the writer f this Psalm, is reporting.

First, I need to tell you why I can say God’s love is so consistent even when we are willfully disobeying Him. The very simple answer is Jesus’s sacrifice. Jesus Christ died for all our sin; all our past rebellion, present willfulness, and even our future wickedness. Trusting His sacrifice pays for all the moral debt we owe. When we put our faith in His righteousness we also receive His merit of goodness. From the moment we exchange our rags of self-righteousness for His moral purity, God looks at us differently. Paul said it this way,

What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did…  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5

Now read the verses again, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” David is remembering times when he willfully and rebelliously ran from God. He wanted to fly away and find a place where he could live his own way. No matter where David went he found God there! What is remarkable to David and should be to us, is God’s attitude and actions towards David. Notice God’s one hand is leading David and the other, God’s right hand is holding David. Allow me to suggest this is a dancing position. God is facing David looking at him directly in the eyes and God’s left hand is holding David’s right hand. God’s right hand is around David’s waist and holding him.

Knowing more about the hands is very important in our meditation. The right hand is a term in scripture that refers to the power and might of a person.  The right hand of God is a metaphor for all the power of God! Consider with me the placement of the hands in these verses.  David’s right hand, all his human strength, is being held and directed by God’s left hand. It is when David’s strength is finally rendered powerless that he realizes he is in the hands of God. He is at the end of his rope and yet God is leading him. God’s right hand, His power and might, is holding David. Just like David, at our most wretched moments when we are in rebellion to God, he is still holding and leading us. This is hard to Dance 3imagine but the placement of Father God’s hands resemble the placement of someone dancing! Is it possible that when we are at our worst God posture is to dance with us!!!  Grace says this is true, but our minds resist this kind of grace.

That my friend is the kind of love I need and have found in Jesus Christ. I find this overwhelmingly kind and precious of God to be so patient with my failure and sin. This Psalm made it real to me at my worse moments, and God will reveal the depth of His great love for you as you fill your mind and heart with His Word.  Remember Proverbs 2, “My, Child if you will receive my word…”

Have you taken the wings of the morning? Do you wish to run away from life and are you struggling against the grip of God? Know that at your worse He is still dancing with you. Please turn to Him now and trust Him so the dance can be enjoyed by both of you!

My your day be filled with grace and peace…. from the Lover of your soul…Jesus!

 

Observation: David finds even when he willfully runs from God, The Lord never leaves him. He also realizes that when he is in rebellion God is still holding him.

Interpretation: God’s attitude and actions at David’s greatest failures is pure grace and love. The way God is holding David appears to be a loving and kind posture. This is a picture of great grace and mercy at our lowest moments.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for sending Jesus and covering my sin. I was so afraid that when I chose my own way you would leave me in my brokenness. Knowing that you are always there holding me helps me trust you and relax in your faithful love. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Do you know where your going to?

Meditation Journey Day 35                         

Hi Friend,

OK, lace up your boots and pick up your back pack we are moving on into the next section of Psalm 139. This next section many be rough for some of us. Verses 7-12 are all about going. It starts with a question, “Where shall I go from your presence? It ends with the conclusion the LORD is with me everywhere I go.

VastWe really are only going in one of two directions. The only variable is how fast we are moving. Either we are moving towards God or away from Him. That is always the choice we have in every major decision we make.

The author of this psalm, King David had a lot of experience in moving towards and away from God. If you know King David’s biography in the Bible you are aware he was on the run for many years before he ever became king of Israel. He was being hunted by King Saul and at one point actually ran away to live with the enemies of God for safety. He hid in caves in the wilderness and barely survived. He did not always make godly choices; you can read David’s entire story in 1st & 2nd Samuel. Knowing his struggles, fears and his flight adds depth to this passage.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol (hell), you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

RuunnerJust like David we can run towards or away from God.  Are you running towards the Lord or away from Him? Remember it is not so much a physical direction as it is an attitudinal posture. Here are some questions to help you decide which direction your heart is heading. When truth about your behavior is presented to you do you embrace it or resist it? Are you wishing you could get away with things you know are wrong? When circumstances do not go your way do you give thanks to God quickly, slowly or not at all? When things go well do you thank God? When things go bad do you blame God or think He is punishing you? When you accomplish remarkable things to whom do you give credit…you or God? Are you mentally arguing with people from your present or past? Is there anyone you have not forgiven?

These are just some questions that reveal to ourselves what direction we are going. The Apostle James says we all stumble in many ways so do not think you’re the only one who is challenged by these questions.

If this inquiry felt a little rough to your spiritual knees and you realized you have stumbled and fallen down; I suggest you stop and evaluate what we have learned in verses 1-6. He really does love you and value you highly. Choose to humble your heart in surrender to Him. Go deeper in your faith by trusting His grace to lead you back to His path. Oh yes, if your knees hurt, do not forget to ask for His forgiveness.

Observation: We are all moving towards or away from God. David learned from his experiences that the Lord God is always with him.

Interpretation: Since we are always in route, it is important we keep focus on the right direction. We choose every day which direction we are going. Our repentance is God’s plan to get us back on His path.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for your word. It helps me to get up after I have stumbled. Your grace reminds me you will forgive my waywardness. I do want to go your way. Teach me your paths. I will walk in them… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Deadly Poison in Your Mouth

Meditation Journey Day 30                             

“Even before a word is on my tongue, BEHOLD, O LORD, you know it altogether.” Psalm 139:4

Hi Friend,

This verse says our LORD knows what we are going to say before we even think it! The LORD God not only observes all we do and examines everything we experience; He also knows what we are thinking! David responds to this revelation with “O LORD!”  I am not sure if his response was grief or joy! Our first response to this truth could be either too. Your reaction to this may be uncomfortable because you like me probably think and sayMouth many words we know are wrong and destructive. Our malicious and hurtful words can cause great damage to others and ourselves. How many times have words passed my lips that I regretted saying.

The Apostle James wrote: For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. …So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

So being aware that God knows what I say can cause me to feel very defensive towards Him. The fact is we need to totally rethink any negative reaction we may have to this truth! We who are loved of God are able to thank Him for knowing everything! His knowing my personal individual confidential thoughts, dreams and fantasies means that He is able to lead me out of the sinfulness of my life into the joy and peace of His. That means My Savior can help me get rid of all the wicked, hurtful and negative stuff I can easily ponder over. We can trust God to help us to “get rid of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips and do not lie to each other…” Colossians 3

Now, thank God, I have a great ally in the control of the nasty mean spirited thing in my mouth!!! Now, I can trust Him to live, love and even speak through me to bless, encourage and inspire others!

We can, like David, pause and behold the joyful wonder that our God can help us with the uncontrollable tongue!

Our embracing of this Psalm’s revelation about God is essential, yet it is incomplete unless we engraft its truth into our lives. We must participate in the process of controlling our tongues by yielding to the Holy Spirit’s rule of peace and letting the word lavishly live in our minds. (Colossians 3) We must receive His word and reflect on it, yield to its truth and allow the Holy Spirit to speak life through us!

I like David’s prayer about my words from Psalm 19:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

 Observation: Knowing that God knows what we think before we say a word can be uncomfortable. David’s response can be of extreme embarrassment for his shameful words or excited joy from realizing God’s care is so complete.

Interpretation: David calls out “Behold, O LORD” because he is realizing he is loved and forgiven. He is realizing that this intervention of God is a gift of grace and love that is transforming his character.

Application Prayer: Father God you know me! You know how mean spirited my words can be if I do not submit my mind and heart to feed on Your word and think Your thoughts. I am so grateful that you see me so worthy that you want to help me evaluate my thoughts and words before I speak them. O LORD I need You. I want the words of my mouth to bless not curse others and for Your Spirit to love others through me.  …in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Who Loves You?

Meditation Journey Day 28

Hi Friend,

We have learned the name “LORD” that David calls out in Psalm 139:1 (“O LORD you have searched me and known me”) means I AM that I AM; I am the Self-Existent, Uncreated One. The importance of this name is magnified in the New Testament when Jesus Christ describes Himself as “I AM” to the religious rulers. In a fierce discussion with them, Jesus stated, Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.” John 8   After Jesus revealed the truth that He was the “I AM” to the religious rulers they wanted to kill Him for the sin of blasphemy. Jesus Christ, the Great I AM, is one and the same. It is He who searches for us as The Good Shepherd seeking His lost sheep.

Jesus also used the same phrase “I AM” in seven pronouncements about Himself. In all seven, He combines I AM with tremendous metaphors which express His saving relationship with the believer. Keep in mind seven is the number of completion. The seven I AM statements undergird the fact God knows you completely and loves you perfectly. The seven declarations are:

 I AM the Bread of Life (John 6) I AM the Light of the World (John 8); I AM the Door of the Sheep (John 10:); I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10); I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11); I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14); and I AM the True Vine (John 15).

 The One that was personally searching out David and knew David intimately was the eternal Son of God! Friend, the One that knows you and is searching for you is Jesus Christ the lover of your soul.

He is The Bread of Life that we need to feast upon every day for spiritual nourishment.

He is The Light of the world that guides us to truth and away from sin.

He is The Door into God’s Presence and the haven of hope.

He is The Good Shepherd that lays done His life for the sheep and leads us to still water and green pastures.

He is The Resurrection and the Life of God that infuses us with hope.

He is The Way, the Truth and the Life that leads us to Father’s House.

He is The True Vine and as we abide in Him we receive His life.
God lovesAs you read through Psalm 139 please keep in focus that Jesus Christ is the Great I AM. Draw near to Him for He has died for you. Jesus is The Friend that sticks closer than a brother. He knows every time you fail, every time you rise-up and your every thought. He is there when you lie down and when you rise up. He knows everything about you and still loves you!

Observation: “O LORD” is the Old Testament’s name for the “I AM”. Jesus Christ was the “I AM” incarnate. He loves us in a complete way.

Interpretation: All that David experienced in Psalm 139 is how Jesus Christ knows and loves you today! As we engraft this Psalm into our hearts and minds we will understand the cherished way Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, loves us.

Application Prayer: Lord God Jehovah, Thank you for coming in the flesh as Jesus Christ to be like us. Thank you for taking away the brokenness between you and me so I can know you. Thank you for searching me out and knowing me so well. Your grace is amazing and your care for me is overwhelmingly kind.  …in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

As we begin to journey through Psalm 139 please continue to pray for the people receiving these daily instructions.