Express His Glory in Your Life

Posts tagged ‘evidence of faith’

Living Legacies!

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
Proverbs 25:2

Typically, the beautiful treasures of this life are found only through deep searching. Sometimes, though, the amazing grace of God reveals Truth in moments of mercy. Such glorious truths are never meant for one heart alone. In fact, the light God gives that we do not share becomes darkness. But that’s another topic. Today, I want to share a glimpse of God’s purposeful work across generations. It encouraged me, and I offer it with a prayer that it will energize you as well.

Our family moved hundreds of miles from our ‘roots’ in rural New York State a few years ago. Each year we go ‘home’ to visit those who share history with us. In every life, legacies are worked out…good inheritances and bad. Within all of it, God works! When we receive that work, His good purposes come to fruition.

This year we were invited to attend church with a loved one. The invitation itself was evidence of the work of God in her life. Delighted to celebrate this new connection to the Body, we went with little expectation of anything more than ‘church’ and the joy of being with our loved one. The church was one I had intermittent connection with over the years. And it was a great church service—good fellowship with old friends who were there, an excellent Biblical message, a church that was thriving. It was much more than that, though.

That particular church was part of my uncle’s life legacy. He had been one of the founding members and part of the building team. As I sat in that building, I suddenly realized it was more a part of my legacy than I knew—and more than the church—or its members–could have known. Interactions with that church—and people in it—dotted my memory. In the times those connections happened, they did not feel impactful—and sometimes not even positive. But God was at working His plan in and through those who were faithfully—but imperfectly following Him.
Along with that awareness, there was much more of the weaving God there. The music came from a church one of my South Carolina friends attends…a friend who attends Bible Study in our home. Other worshippers at the service were from a church that had greatly influenced our marriage and family decades before. Every connection I recognized throbbed with the purpose of God and the imperfection of the earthly—and God was in it all.

He was there in my own rebellion and insecurity, in my grief and in my lostness. He was there in the church split that brought new folks to this church. He was there in the message. He is present in the controversies that surround the church that produced the music. God knows and uses it all because His purposes will not be thwarted. God weaves our strengths and weaknesses for our good and His glory. He is never put off by our inadequacy because His strength is perfect in our weakness.

Feeling the presence of God link my past to my present

fills me with enthusiasm for the future!

As I began processing all that I realized that is how God works. We don’t always see what He is doing, but the Great I AM is always present; His plans always underway. And as I thought about that, the complexity of legacies gave me fresh awe for God. My Grandma’s passion for Bible Reading sowed seeds that produced a harvest in my uncle’s life. He, too, fed on the Word daily. Perhaps other legacies being eradicated kept those seeds from rooting in my dad’s life…but they flourish in mine. In the fullness of time the beautiful work of God will overcome the destructive legacies as Light is spread by faithful servants.

That transforming light is SO needed. Because in every life, there are ugly realities inherited as well. Suicides, alcoholism, divorce, broken relationships, and strong-willed independence are part of my inheritance too. The work of the enemy is what Jesus came to destroy. As we seek Him, we produce a legacy of seeds that can do just that. We can’t do it for another…but passionately seeking Jesus individually produces a “Taste and See” life that God will use. He is faithful to His promises. Even when we cannot see it, He is at work.

I’d love to hear how you see God at work in your heart and life.  I pray those of you connected to this piece because of our shared lives will see God at work in your lives in fresh new ways.  He is good and worthy of praise.  Rejoice in Him. Live in Him.

 

Life shows what we believe

Just sharing the morning challenge God gave me:

“What do you really believe?”

Jesus told Nicodemeus that we have to be born of earth and heaven to see the Kingdom of God.  This earthly life has great purpose and value.  Jesus came that we would have abundant life.  I cannot live abundantly by hiding from the tough stuff.  I cannot live abundantly if I isolate my faith from my footsteps.

So, I jotted down some of the things my head knows–and believes–about my faith to see if my feet (and even my heart agrees).

I say I believe…. God is enough.    

…but sometimes I resent what I don’t have.  I doubt that He is better than my longing.

I say I believe….God is at work doing greater things than I can think of.

but sometimes despair settles in and frustration erupts.

I say I believe….I am loved and protected by the King of Kings.

…but sometimes I don’t even feel noticed and I fight for myself.

I say I believe….my righteousness is nothing more than filthy rags and we all have sin muddying our souls and our steps.

…but sometimes I think I know best and anyone not doing things my way is wrong.

I say I believe….God owns it all and will provide for me.

…but sometimes I plan and strive for how I can have what I want, forgetting my life is for Him and He has my needs in view.

I say I believe….the very power of God lives in me.

…but sometimes I feel weak and hopeless and curl into a self-protective ball.

I say I believe…. God’s ways are superior to mine.

…but sometimes I stomp off in my own direction.

Those ‘sometimes’ are doorways for mercy.  May we each take time today to consider what our steps reveal about our beliefs.  God is worth the time…enjoying heaven requires humble awareness.

Understanding is the foundation of heaven–we have to seek His view or we will never understand the beauty of His presence.  Seeing and hearing comes through walking out our lives on this earth with a desire for wisdom and understanding.

What do you believe that stops at your head?  

Where do you listen to your heart instead of the King?  

Where are you feet not walking out faith?  

Receive His mercy and watch His glory fill your world!

Growing Spiritual Fruit

 

Character is described aptly as ‘who you are when no one is looking.’  Christianity is no a self-improvement project but we represent Christ.  In fact, we are being transformed into His image.  Knowing what HE looks like, helps us as we take responsibility for the things that are ours to do.

Let’s take a look at some important Christian Character attributes.  Using a scale of 0-10, consider whether you never (0) exhibit the trait or you consistently (10) demonstrate that trait.

Loving (accepting & available)

Forgiving (not holding grudges)

Respectful (honors others and self)

Trustworthy (count on their promises)

Humble (puts others first)

Honest (transparent, truthful)

Patient (willing to wait w/o complaint)

Peaceful (quiet confidence in good)

Joyful/Hopeful (expects good to come)

Self-controlled (vs. addiction-controlled)

Do any of those traits cause you dismay?  There is good news:  these are by-products of a Spirit-filled life.  We do not transform ourselves; the Holy Spirit is our power source.

Developing these flavors in our lives is the goal of Discipleship Coaching.  Take time now, to list—in order of priority, the three things from above that you most desire to develop.

1.

2.

3.

Our history is part of us; it need not define us or limit us.  However, when we stuff it away without understanding, negative stuff can simmer deep within.  Living fully in the freedom of Christ requires bringing even the past into the Light of His love. As you consider the character traits that trouble you, you may find lingering resentment about negative deposits in your character bank.  Forgiveness sets you free…ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything limiting your fruit.  If you feel resentment in your heart, please visit Discipleship Coaching – Forgiveness.

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