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?

With All Your Heart, Soul and Mind - Love

photo by leighann-renee

photo by leighann-renee

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
— Matthew 22: 36-40

What comes to mind when you hear the word -love? Some of us think of warm fuzzy feelings. Some think of chocolate or other favorite treat. Some of us may think of someone. Love is a choice. It’s an action.

My pastor often talks about EGRs. That’s people in whom “extra grace is required”. He goes on to say if you don’t know an EGR then perhaps you are one. Of course, this brings a lot of head nodding and laughter. But truth be told we all know people that we feel some extra grace is required to be around. (And we may very well be one of those EGRs to some other folks.)

I thank Jesus every day that He gave the extra grace required for me and you for salvation! He loved us while we were still sinners. He loved all mankind KNOWING that most wouldn’t give Him a second thought as to the gift of salvation He paid for us.

The greatest commandments are at the top of this post. Love God with your whole being and love people like you love yourself. Sounds simple. Sounds easy. But is it?

When we look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 it’s a little harder to practice the choice, the action of love.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (English Standard Version)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (New International Version)

Just being patient and kind is hard enough but then add in not to be envious and don’t brag! If that’s not the most of it, love is not proud or rude or irritable or resentful nor keeps a record of wrongs. Love isn’t glad when evil happens, but instead love rejoices with the truth. Love protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Love never fails.

That, my friend, is hard to do! But God (two of my favorite words) doesn’t leave us alone to do all that! He gives us the Holy Spirit to live IN us. And with God, nothing is impossible! Hallelujah!

How will the lost and dying world - let’s be more specific - how will our family member or friend or coworker ever know our Jesus’ salvation unless we LOVE them? Jesus loves them. What about the believer - our family member or friend or coworker - how with they come to know the healing power of forgiveness unless we LOVE them? Jesus loves them.

Yes, Jesus loves sinners. Where in the world did we get the idea that once someone is saved they are suppose to be “perfect”? Just before Jesus was betrayed by Judas He told ALL of the other eleven disciples that they all would abandon Him. And they did. After they had given up and went back to fishing, there was Jesus on the shore waiting on them with breakfast cooked - loving them.

Without love, we’re just a clanging cymbal. Without love, we’re nothing.

You’ve heard the old adage that “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” It’s true and the only way to show folks that you care is to love them…and for some a little “extra grace is required.”

What to Do with God's Calling in the Now - Managing Life's Demands AND God's Calling

Nathan Dumlao

Nathan Dumlao

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
— Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV

As a new Christian I worried over what the will of God was for my life. After all, preachers said they knew God’s will was to be a preacher. Missionaries the same. It seems so holy to be called into such a vocation.

But what about the rest of us? Let’s take a look at some people in the Bible. Peter was a fisherman. Jesus made him a fisher of men. Lydia was a seller of purple goods and she helped Paul in his ministry (gave him lodging) and I’m sure shared her faith in her daily life. Joseph from the Old Testament answered God’s calling as a slave for much of his life! (Before he became second in command after Pharaoh.

We are called to serve Jesus where we are…in the now. In our vocation, we should be honest and hard working. When asked why, be ready to share the gospel of Christ. In our home, we should be a steward of God’s gifts - serve our family and others. That may mean opening your home like Lydia did. Maybe is caring for those in need with the things you have or can produce from your home. I’m specifically thinking of sharing material things and cooking meals for others, etc.

But what if you feel called to be a ___________? You fill in the blank. God’s calling is not a mystery.

Christ wants a personal relationship with you and He wants you to love Him and love others. It is God’s will that we love Him, love others and be obedient to His Word.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 22: 37-40 ESV

.Christ commands that as we go about our life we are to make disciples.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28: 19-20 ESV

Whatever your vocation or station in life - Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. As you are doing that, share the gospel and make disciples.

We all are to do this as we live our lives. Jesus took time for people - all people. We should do the same. Jesus served others. We should do the same.

One way I feel I can share my faith in Jesus Christ is by writing this blog. No one sponsors me. I put my faith out there and slowly people are reading and sharing the blog with others.

One way I share my faith is by helping when I see a need that I can do something about. That may be taking a meal to someone who is sick or giving money to a cause a believe in or giving my time and/or sharing my home when I can.

One way I share my faith is by telling someone my personal testimony and sharing scriptures on how to be saved. God has even allowed me the privilege of leading a few souls to Him!

While you are living in the NOW of your life, you are to be living God’s call on your life. Nothing you do will compare with the relationship you have with our Lord. God does the EXTRA in our ORDINARY lives. He began that good work in you when He saved you and He’ll be faithful to complete it!

Share with me how God is using you in your now. I’d love to hear from you!