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You are His delightful child!
“And have you forgotten His encouraging words spoken to you as His children? He said, ‘My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God. Or get depressed when He has to correct you. For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of His faithful love and when He draws you to Himself it proves you are HIS DELIGHTFUL CHILD.‘” Hebrews 12:5-6 TPT
Something to ponder while you wander–difficult circumstances do not mean God has left you or loves you less. He has loved you since the foundation of the world, nothing you can do will change that. In the midst of the tough stuff remember that you are loved and you are His delightful child.
“Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best–the sun to warm & the rain to nourish–to everyone.” Matthew 5:44-45 MSG
So many times in my life I’ve let people steal my joy and peace because of the way they’ve treated me. For too long I’ve let my day be darkened by someone else’s attitude. Jesus spoke this for our protection and for our good.
When we respond the way Jesus recommends, we are able to maintain our peace and joy. We grow in maturity. It’s a bad situation turned for our good. And we are helping someine who is struggling, because that other person clearly needs prayer, a love infusion, and more Jesus.
When we allow people (whether we like, love or loathe them) to color or even ruin our day by their behavior it means we have ceded control of our mind, will, and emotions to someone else. And that someone else probably doesn’t like themselves any more than they like us.
Something to ponder while you wander…a person’s treatment of you is a reflection of them, not you. Your reaction reveals your heart condition, not theirs.
I was waiting in line the other day, when I noticed the woman being waited on was vintage. Late 1920’s or early 1930’s vintage. After she finished, she gathered her things, and moved to the table directly across from me to reorganize her bag.
When I saw her face I though, “Wow, I bet she was stunning when she was young.”
And I heard the Lord say, “Look again.”
So I did.
I saw that while she was thin, she wasn’t frail. I saw her face, wrinkled and crinkled with smile and laugh lines. I saw her well-loved tan sweater over a lovely, feminine button up shirt. I started to see she was one who lived her life intentionally, she wasn’t just floating through.
I was admiring her wide-brimmed straw gardening hat when she looked up.
I saw light and wisdom radiating from her eyes. I instantly wanted to have tea with her, and listen to her story.
I smiled at her. She smiled back.
I realized in that moment she wasn’t only a beauty then, she IS a stunning beauty now.
This got me thinking….Outside of the true narcissistic few, most of us dismiss our own beauty. We see our flaws, and areas of our body we want to shrink, grow, or change. But we don’t see our own beauty.
I know I don’t. I see the beauty in sunsets and nature but not in myself.
Truth is not all of us will be super models or grace the covers of magazines, but all of us are beautiful. That’s how God made us and how Jesus sees us.
This is from Song of Songs chapter 1 in the Passion Translation:
The Shulamite Woman: “In this twilight darkness, I know I am so unworthy–so in need.”
The Shepherd King: “Yet you are so lovely.”
The Shulamite Woman: “I feel as dark and dry as the desert tents of the wandering nomads.”
The Shepherd King: “Yet you are so lovely–like the fine linen tapestry hanging in the Holy Place.”
Jesus is our Shepherd King and He calls us lovely.
In Genesis 16 Hagar was a runaway maid, pregnant by her boss’s husband. She was in the desert, alone. Desperate.
“She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, You’re the God who sees me! Yes! He saw me and I saw Him!” Genesis 16:13 MSG
The one who spoke to her was no mere angel, it was Jesus, Himself. And He saw her.
Something to ponder while you wander…Just like He told me to look again at the vintage beauty, take another look at yourself. See you how Jesus sees you. Because Jesus sees you clearly, and He calls you lovely.
PS Give a fellow human a genuine compliment today. They need to be reminded of their beauty too. ❤
A Monday reminder of how Jesus sees you:
“Oh my beloved, you are striking–lovely even in weakness. When I see your beauty, I see a radiant city, where we will dwell as one. More pleasing than any pleasure, more delightful than any delight, you have ravished my heart. Even hosts of angels stand in awe of you.” Song of Songs 6:4 TPT
Point to ponder while you wander…Jesus sees your beauty and calls you lovely even in your weakness.
Today’s Musical Monday is Good Good Father by Housefires. This has been one of my go to songs for quite a while now.
It’s a great song about identity and how we see ourselves and Papa God. He’s a Good Good Father it’s who He is. And we are loved by Him, that’s who we are!
If you prefer seeing the lyrics, here’s Bethel’s version with the lyrics.
Something to ponder (and declare outloud) while you wander…The Great I AM is Love and I am His beloved.
Earlier this week I was reading I Samuel 17. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the David vs Goliath chapter. A few things, well four actually, popped out at me:
Lesson #1 (I Samuel 17:28 NLT)
But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!”
Sometimes those “know” you are the ones who don’t want you to grow, change or step out. Don’t let other people’s shortsightedness hold you back from your giant slaying destiny!
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NLT
Joshua was not an untested leader. He had been the military leader since the Children of Israel left Egypt. He was one of the twelve who spied out the promised land. He didn’t lack courage, strength or conviction. Yet in Deuteronomy 31:6, 7 and 23 and Joshua 1:6, 7, 9 and 18, God repeats the same message to Joshua. I am with you. I have chosen you for this task. Be strong. Be courageous. Why did He keep repeating the same message to Joshua?
In my opinion I think it’s the same reason He has to repeat the same things to us over and over again, because we can forget who we are in the trenches of day to day life.
God wasn’t telling Joshua to pray for strength or courage, He said be strong and courageous. Joshua already had the strength and courage residing on the inside of himself. He just needed to remember who he was and be who God made him to be.
The same is true for you. You are strong. You are courageous. You can do what the Lord has asked/is asking you to do. He made you specifically to be able to handle the life you would lead. He gave you talents, gifts and abilities. He created you with strength and courage. You were created with the ability to thrive in the environment that you would be in. But like everything, it’s a choice. You can choose to be strong and courageous and thrive. Or you can choose not to.
Joshua told his troops the same thing in Joshua 10:25, “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous…”
Paul tells the Corinthian church something very similar in I Corinthians 16:13-14 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.”
I am passing on this message to you. Remember who you are. You are a child of the Most High God. He is for you and not against you. Be who God made you to be. Be strong. Be courageous. There is strength and courage inside you already. Be you! You are strong and courageous!
Bonus Random Quote: “God’s plan for us is usually where our passions, our purpose and our capabilities intersect.” Bob Goff
Perception is everything. What you believe matters. What you believe about yourself determines how you allow others to treat you and how you behave. What you believe about yourself and God will determine your relationship with Him. What you believe about God determines whether or not you are willing to have faith in, commit to, and trust Him. If you don’t believe God is good and that God loves you, you will be unable to trust that He works all things out for your good. If you are unable to fully trust Him, you’ll never commit to go all in.
It can be scary to go all in. You may have doubts. You may not fully understand. Think about Mary when she was visited by the angel Gabriel. She was confused and did not fully understand what he was telling her. But she did believe that God was good and she trusted Him. So despite her doubt, Mary went all in.
“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.”” Luke 1:26-37 NLT
Mary could have heard what the angel had to say, and dismissed him. She could looked at teenage self and said, “Yeah right.” She could have listened to her doubts and refused to believe that this was possible. She could have missed being the mother of the Savior, the Messiah, if she chose not to believe.
But Mary did not miss what God had for her, because she chose to go all in. No back up plan. No rationalizations. No strategies. Just belief. “Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”” Luke 1:38
You alone choose what you believe. No one, not even God Himself, can make that choice for you. Mary chose to believe, and she gave birth to the Savior. What will you be capable of if you choose to believe God and go all in?
“You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.” Luke 1:45 NLT
“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”” II Corinthians 2:9 NLT
“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.” Hebrews 6:18 NLT
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 NLT (Verse also found in Mark 10:27 and Luke 18:27).
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 NLT
God loves you. He made you on purpose for a purpose and gave you the measure of faith you will need. Don’t compare yourself or your purpose to anyone else.
Comparison is a thief that will steal your joy, and therefore depletes your strength, as much of our strength comes from joy. In addition will do one of two things: puff you with feelings of superiority or deflate you with feelings of worthlessness.
If you see yourself as less than, you may not bother doing your best. You may not even try. You may think it brilliant to be a carbon copy of someone else. Your love for others may be replaced with envy and jealously or even loathing and hatred.
God wants you to stop trying to be someone else! You have value. You are loved. Your identity is in Him. He made you with care so that He can love you. He needs you to be you because you are vital and important, even if it doesn’t feel that way. The world needs what you have inside you.
If you are feeling superior because of your gifts, abilities, or position you are in danger of being puffed up with vanity and pride. Being puffed up steals your love for others and separates you from people. You may begin to speak condescendingly. You may feel entitled. You may begin to treat people poorly.
God wants you to know that He loves you and values you. He made you with care so He could love you. He entrusted you with these gifts to be a blessing, not to lord yourself over people. You need what is in others just as much as they need you.
Let God love you. Receive it so you can love God in return. The next step is to learn who you are in Him, therefore learning to love yourself properly and in balance. Then you are able to love others as you love yourself as Jesus commanded in Matthew 22:37-40
There’s a reason I Corinthians 13 (AKA the love chapter) is sandwiched between two chapters on gifts and abilities. Comparison is the thief of joy and the opposite of love.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” I Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
I will leave you with this…
Jesus never once compared Himself to anyone, nor did He say to any disciple, “Why can’t you be more like so and so?” God values us individually but created us to be a unified family. Comparison is a destroyer of unity in the family, as much as it is the thief of joy.
“Beloved, if our heart does nor condemn us we have confidence toward God.” I John 3:21 NKJV
God loves me, this I know. We say it & sing about it. But we don’t always believe it & can’t always receive it. Why? Our own heart tells us we’re unworthy. We hide out like a hermit & beat ourselves up. We wallow around in guilt and shame like pigs in the mud. We dislike ourselves immensely. We indulge in self-destructive behaviors.
That’s the opposite of what God desires! God wants us to come to Him freely & boldly without reservation or doubt. To be confident in the fact that we cannot be separated from His love.
So stop dwelling on your mistakes and behavior, whether they happened 5 minutes ago or 5 years ago. Instead direct your thoughts & focus your energy on how much you are loved. Embrace what God says about you! You are forgiven, redeemed, a new creation, accepted, beloved, beautiful and His.