Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Major Renovation

God is Gracious

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth . . ." Isaiah 65:17
A great deal of effort goes into any kind of renovation – it starts with a vision and requires hours of planning, hard work, and great expense. The restoration all done to make something more useful and hopefully of more value. 

God, the master architect is also in the process of a major renovation. He is working on rebuilding the world around us and you are part of His plan.  Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God has been working at restoring His vision. His love for us is too great, His vision too magnificent to allow His creation to decay in the grips of sin.  But God’s plan requires a major overhaul in our thinking, our hearts, and our actions… When we replace the focus of our life from worldly possessions to Godly desires with Jesus at the center, we become a new creation.  The grand plan is in place and Jesus has already paid the price.  Now it’s your move.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Because God is gracious, through Christ we have become new.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Swimming Upstream

God is Ever-Present

 I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.”  You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life.             Lamentations 3:55-58

Just like a salmon with the daunting task of swimming upstream to spawn, we too can find ourselves fighting battles that take every ounce of energy we have.  While in the midst of such challenging times, we realize we are powerless. Weakened and exposed, we may find ourselves calling out to God to save us for the very first time or restore us once again. 

It is comforting to know, however, that even in the darkest of times, God will never leave us, and never will he forsake us. His mercy and grace abound. While we may question God “why me, why now?” we can trust that God is at work in the details of our life. When we are drawn to God’s redeeming promise, we begin to understand how deeply our Heavenly Father cares for us and we find the strength to carry on.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  Romans 5:1-5

Because God is ever-present, through Jesus, we find our ultimate strength.