There is No Such Thing as a Worthless Soul

photo by sharon mccutcheon

photo by sharon mccutcheon

There is no such thing as a worthless soul.
— Rick Felkel

I’ve been reading the Old Testament in my quiet time in the mornings. I am blown away by some of the idol worship of the people of Canaan. I’m specifically appalled by the child sacrifices they offered to Molech. I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

I remember a vacation we took to Alaska when our kids were young. We stayed with friends and they had been telling us about a bear that kept coming up near their house. Our children were playing on the deck when I heard the screams. I tore out of the house to the kids and to my horror realized that they were screaming because a bear was coming up the steps of the deck where they were. I’d often said I’d fight a bear for my children and, suddenly, I was being given that opportunity.

As I read scripture and I see verses like 2 Chronicles 33:6 “He passed his sons through the fire” I literally shudder. Who could do that? I often imagine a mother being held back as her little baby is ripped from her arms and given to a false prophet or the king or the child’s father and tossed into the flames. I always think of it like this because I cannot fathom a mother throwing her baby into the fire.

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. Psalm 139:13-16

Yet, today in America married and unmarried women choose abortion. There are various reasons for that choice, but the most touted, such as rape or health issues of the mother or baby are among the smallest percentages according to the CDC.

This breaks my heart. I’m not here to bash those who have had abortions. I’m not here to make anyone feel guilty. I just see the connection with abortion to the Old Testament idol worship. In the Old Testament, people sacrificed their children to Molech, an Ammorite god. Today, we abort babies to the god of self; we’re choosing self over the life of the unborn. Scripture tells us that God said child sacrifice never entered His mind.

There is Hope. Jesus loves you and He will forgive ALL our sins when we come to Him for salvation in repentance.

Today, it’s not just unborn children being “sacrificed” for the idol of self, but families and the elderly. It’s as if we have started to place a value of our own making on people. But every soul is priceless!

The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 HCSB

Jesus died a substitutionary death on your behalf and mine to pay the debt God demands for sin. He did that because every life - EVERY life - is priceless. Every life is so priceless to our Lord that He wants everyone to come to repentance so they will not perish.

In Sunday School, when Rick made that profound statement that “There is not such thing as a worthless soul”, we weren’t talking about abortion. We were talking about people that we don’t share the gospel with; maybe we don’t like them or they are different from us or that we misunderstand them or maybe they are ones who have hurt us. When we withhold the gospel of Jesus Christ - whatever the reason - aren’t we really saying ‘they aren’t worth sharing the gospel with’? Maybe we’re not saying that outright, but it’s the same thing, isn’t it?

As I faced off with the bear, there must have been a horrendous look on my face because when the bear stood up he was laughing so hard there were tears in his eyes. Yep, you guessed it, it was the husband of the family we were staying with. He had draped a big bear skin over himself and was attempting to scare the children. It worked!

Believer, it’s time we speak up! Share your faith in Jesus. Offer people HOPE, “bear” may be or how worthless you may feel the chance of winning them to Christ. America needs Hope. Our neighbors need Hope. Our families need Hope. You and I need Hope. Hope IS JESUS.

There is no such thing as a worthless soul, so tell them all about Jesus!

The Perfect Artist

Photo by Joleen Wahaunsee

Photo by Joleen Wahaunsee

Many people love art. Some the abstract, some landscapes and many others love various types of art. Sometimes I’m very taken by a painting and sometimes I’m appalled. But there is an Artist who is perfect in all His work.

There are many types of artists, too. There are those who paint, those who sculpt, those who play an instrument, those who write and others who sew or build. Well, the list goes on and on. But there is One who created the universe and He didn’t stop there; He created you.

This Creator of the universe and of you is THE PERFECT ARTIST. He never makes mistakes. Oh, we find that there are imperfect people in this world, but not by His design. The imperfections are because mankind chose to sin and, with sin in the picture, imperfection is part of life.

But I’m reminded of the perfect plan from time to time when I see a sunset like the one above or a magnificent sunrise and I’m comforted. I’m filled with hope and thankfulness, and so grateful that Jesus Christ suffered on my behalf and yours so we can be His; awaiting His perfect plan for us. Not just His perfect plan in heaven but now.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 (NASB)

I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10: 9-11 (NASB)

I am convinced that Jesus words above are meant for here and now. I never knew life could be so fulfilling before salvation! You might say that’s because I repented and was born again as an adolescent, but I say Jesus has changed me, even as an adult.

Oh, I can tell you that Jesus spared me from some of life’s hardships as He protected me from making some awful teenage and young adult decisions, but more than that He is ever changing me - now.

Everyday, I fall more and more in love with my Saviour, my Lord. Everyday I become more and more grateful for His mercy and grace and love for me. And the more I understand His mercy, grace and love, the more I want to extend it to others now - creating that abundant life now.

I can’t express my gratitude enough to Jesus for saving me. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog - to share Jesus with others. I know life is hard - sometimes just brutal - but life is hard on everyone; those who are believers and followers of Jesus and those who are not. I can’t imagine trying to deal with the struggles of this world on my own, without Jesus.

Jesus promised to never leave us nor forsake us and He fulfilled that promise by giving His Holy Spirit to indwell us so we are never alone and as His guarantee that He is coming back for us. How perfect is that? The Perfect Artist knew His creation would fail Him, but He chose to never fail us! Hallelujah!

My prayer for you is that you let Jesus fill you with His Spirit. Surrender you life to Him - repent of your sin and receive His salvation today! If you are already a believer, give Him your hurts and anxieties. Trust Him with the here and now. Allow Him the control of your life that He already has and rest in Him.

No matter where you are in live or what you’ve been through, Jesus is the Perfect Artist and He wants to make your life BEAUTIFUL starting right now.

Great is Your Faithfulness

photo from Facebook

photo from Facebook

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
— Lamentations 3:22-23

I know in Louisiana it’s been a while since we felt the crisp, cool bite to the morning air. But I, for one, am looking forward to the the coming fall mornings! I don’t drink coffee, but those mornings make me want to head out to the back porch and hold a steaming cup in my hands and bask in God’s faithfulness.

Speaking of God’s faithfulness, when was the last time you stopped and reflected on His faithfulness to you? I have to admit, sometime I’ve felt like His faithfulness was hit and miss. But that’s not the case! God is always faithful to His Word and to His children. I was the problem, not God.

Let me explain… God tells us in the Bible what He will and will not do. For a broad generalization, He will bless His children who are following His commands in obedience and He will NOT bless (may even curse) those who are NOT following His commands in obedience. He is faithful to both sides - which side are you on?

I have the tendency to run where I want God to call me. Then I expect Him to bless me because I’m doing something I know He wants done, even though He may have called someone else to do it. I cannot count the times in my life I’ve done that.

This summer I have felt God call me to mentor women. Rather than round up some ladies who I might think would be a good group for that purpose, I prayed and waited. Out of the blue a few weeks ago, I was asked to become a group leader in the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) that I had joined last year. Wow! Did God deliver or what?!

God is FAITHFUL! Had I rushed in and got a group of women together I may have missed the actual call that the Holy Spirit was leading me toward and that He had prepared for me. I know some of these women from last year and some will be new to me, but what an opportunity! I know that I will learn and grow as much or more than those in my group! That’s just how the Lord works. And I am excited to be following Christ in the worldwide organization.

Whether you belong to a group like BSF or a great group in your church, I want to challenge you to be on the lookout for God’s faithfulness. Even in the darkest of times, God is there surrounding you by His Holy Spirit. You may need to look back after some time has passed to see His faithfulness, but it’s true; it will be there.

So, it’s about 3 weeks until fall… You don’t have to wait for that crisp, cool bite in the air to walk outside and bask in His faithfulness. You can do it today! Are you ready?

For the Glory of God

Photo by Matilda Vigerova

Photo by Matilda Vigerova

Recently I have had the saying “God never wastes pain” be shared with me. To be honest, I had never heard that before. A friend asked me to blog about that topic and then I read it in a card someone hand-wrote to my sister. My first thought on that is “God doesn’t waste anything, but we do.”

Forgive me if this post seems to ramble as I’m not really sure how to address this topic. There are different kinds of pain: physical, emotional, and spiritual. We can experience one or all of them in our life times because we live in a fallen world. Sin has contaminated every aspect of creation and mankind. Therefore, pain and trouble are a normal part of this life.

However, the Bible gives us many assurances that God the Father made the way for salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ and Jesus promised He would never leave us or forsake us. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live in us as proof that He’d never leave us or forsake us. (And that He is coming back for us!)

So what in the world does this have to do with the phrase “God never wastes pain”? Let’s look at a few scripture verses.

16 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (HCSB)

9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (HCSB)

Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. 10 Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. 1 Peter 5: 9-10 (HCSB)

10 It would still bring me comfort, and I would leap for joy in unrelenting pain that I have not denied the words of the Holy One. Job 6:10 (HCSB)

Again, I’d not heard the saying the “God never wastes pain” until recently. I believe God allows each believer to choose whether or not we will trust in Him during our pain so as to glorify Him in our suffering.I believe that, regardless of the type of pain we face, God will redeem our pain so we may grow in our faith and be conformed more into His image while He is glorified IF we let Him.

There have been times in my life that I wasted some pain that God carried me through by not using that time as a means to point others to Jesus. But when I repented of my selfishness and self-pity, God redeemed that pain to be used for His glory.

He redeemed that pain that by allowing me to minister to others who were going through pain similar to mine. He has given me opportunities to share my story with others so they could know they were not alone in that particular pain.

I’m not alone in this. I’ve seen God redeem believers pain again and again when they allowed God to use them to minister to others. I’ve seen physical pain redeemed by our Great God when believers grow in a more intimate walk with Him due to that pain.

Our lives, as believers, should be lived for the glory of God. That means every aspect should be for His glory, our pain included.

One of the main ways we move from abstract knowledge about God to a personal encounter with him as a living reality is through the furnace of affliction.
— Tim Keller