Tag Archives: Created

Two Unlikely Characters

I love Bible study! Be it on my own or listening under the teaching of others. And one of my favorite times is the Teen Class at Victory Baptist Church. I co-teach with a couple of fella’s whose characters are as far from one end of the spectrum as the other, but both bring such wisdom to the table and allow the kids to see that God’s method of understanding is personal.

This past Sunday I sat with the youth and listened to a lesson from co-teacher Doug that I told him I was totally going to steal and not give him credit. I wouldn’t do that… at least not entirely. Below is what I gleaned from Doug’s wisdom on Isaiah chapter 1.

Isaiah 1:1-3 

1The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

God uses two unlikely Characters… hmmm…. Just like Doug and me, to teach a lesson about the rebellious heart. The ox and the ass. Two animals who knew more about submission to authority than the nation of Israel. But before we step out of the stall and consider ourselves to be above that, perhaps we should check the bottom of our shoes to see what we’re treading in.

It seems that no matter how far I come in my walk with Christ, I still always have plenty of path before me. I have nowhere near arrived! There has always been a rebellious, just roll with it, side to me that gets me into trouble. I never give God full control. I always hold back just a little of Shari to mess things up.

Israel had unfortunately kept a lot of themselves in their Nation and rebelled again and again on God their Creator.

Doug’s lesson had four wonderful points that are so very worthy of pondering.

  1. We were Created by God.
  2. We were Stolen by Satan (separated from God through sin)
  3. We were Bought back through the blood of Christ! Glory!
  4. We were Gifted life by God

We were created in God’s image (Genesis 2:16-17). The ox and the ass know their masters here on earth, although they too can be rebellious and stubborn. But so much can be learned from God’s creation.

We have several critters around our home, but the three who I deal with beneath my feet daily are Izadora, Versace and Callie. A Chihuahua, a Jack-Huahua (1/2 Chihuahua and Jack Russell) and a calico cat. The dogs are adoring creatures who just want to love us continually. They cannot get close enough. Callie the cat is a vicious creature who loves nothing more than to come from nowhere to grab your bare feet with her claws and scare the daylights out of you! She is self-absorbed and could care less if you like her, so long as you feed her. True story! But which creature sounds more like God’s human creation?

That’s because Satan stole our hearts. Oh my goodness! That thought makes me so sad. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he tempted her with something that would steal her heart from her Creator God. She fell, Adam fell and because of that, we are all a fallen, stolen creation from the Savior. (Romans 6:23) The wages of sin is death. Once we get to the age of knowledge, when we can determine right from wrong, Satan has us in his clutches, just like he did Eve underneath that tree.

But praise God! We were bought back. 1 Peter 3:18 ~ For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

It’s a price my mind cannot fathom. I try. But I just can’t wrap my mind around the physical pain that He endured for me, and His separation from His father. How could He love me that much (John 3:16) even in my rebellion? A point Doug brought out that sorrows my soul is that Christ even did it for those who will never accept Him as Lord. He loves us all the same.

God’s greatest gift to us was the freedom of life.

Doug’s favorite verse is Matthew 11:28. It’s one of mine too and it’s a reminder that we do not have to live with the burden of sin and strife.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

The ox and the ass know where to go when it’s time to rest. They go to master’s crib. We too should find ourselves cradled in the arms of God when life gets too much. O God… to be so wise…

Thanks Doug for the thoughts, and thank You Jesus for your word.

A Conversation with the Creator

The willow tree is my all-time favorite tree. I don’t have any in my yard, but perhaps someday I will, especially after reading Isaiah 44. I’m an illustration learner, I must have visuals or soul stirring words to capture my attention and plant a seed that will stay; otherwise it just rolls off this hard head of mine and onto the ground. I need something that will penetrate my heart. God knows. And so as I’m talking with the Lord this morning I hear “Isaiah 44,” and in curiosity I followed the Lord’s leading. I’m so glad I did. It was there that I discovered perhaps why the willow tree has appealed to me over the years.

A Call to the Chosen

44:1-2 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.

Have you ever gotten a call from someone that made you feel pretty important? That’s how Israel should have felt in Isaiah 44:1. In modern day it would be as if they picked up the phone and God Himself was on the line saying, “I could have called anyone, but I chose to call you.”

We take the calling of God so lightly! He didn’t have to save us. But He did. He did not have to speak to my heart in 1996, but He did. And I am ever so grateful! What does it mean to you to be chosen by God? Take a minute just to let that soak in. That He created you to be who you are. The way you look, the desires of heart, the talents you have… everything was designed by Him. Do you criticize or disregard the vessel God placed you in? I know I do. Think of how much effort He put into you! It’s the insanity of the world to think that we could have just “happened.” No… we were splendidly, awesomely designed!

A Comfort for the Called

For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.

What a peaceful image to imagine sitting by a river beneath a willow tree that has been soaking up the water and is lush and green. Especially when you’ve been out in the dessert as the children of Israel have been. Or what about us? When you’ve been in a dry place where we sometimes don’t see the working of God and nobody is excited about anything spiritual. The world is full of depressing news and frustrating people; but then you open up the word of God and feel Him pouring into you the water of life and suddenly your disposition changes, because your position changed. The world will say nobody cares, there’s no way out, the whole world is going to Hell in a handbasket, but from the word of God springs hope, life and direction. There is great comfort in that!

A Concept of the Creator

One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel. Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

We tend to put labels on ourselves. Sometimes it’s from a family characteristic, perhaps it’s from a past mistake or a title given to us by the world. We put far too much stock in titles given to us through our employers.

How hard is it for us to grasp the concept of the Creator? What was it that God created you for? What is your purpose and design? Why do you think God gave you the personality and passions that He did. How can those be used for His glory, and are you using them for that purpose.

Lots of questions to ponder today…

I’d love to hear from you. Find me on Facebook or respond through the contact form, let’s converse!

There’s a New Way of Doing Business

 

From the book of Isaiah 43:5-19

I heard a sermon preached from this text a few days ago, and I’ve been chewing on this scripture like a piece of Willy Wonka’s bubble gum that never loses its flavor. Again and again I’ve tasted that word in my mouth; and today I finally sat down to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write what’s on my heart, and to determine what God has for me through this word. Perhaps He has something for you too. If you’ve ever experienced great fear, either from the known or the unknown, reading the words from Isaiah 43:5 will lead you to say, “Yes, but…” followed by why you fear in spite of it. I’ve been in a, “you couldn’t possibly understand why,” mode. Satan had all but convinced me that I am alone, leading to a series of songs that I’ve written (which are a blessing) but it’s also hard on the heart to let those words spring forth from my soul. I’ll post one below so that you might get a glimpse of that work. But first the Word.

I am Called By His Name

Isaiah said in verses 5-8

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Isaiah is specifically speaking to the Israelites. But being engrafted into the family of God through the blood of Jesus Christ, means that he speaks to me as well. I am a daughter of the Most High King. I am called by His name when it is said of me that I am a Christian. Those facts I believe, as well as the fact that I have been created for His glory. Yet I am often still blind and deaf as to what exactly God is doing in my life much of the time. I fear…a lot. It feels as if God is having to drag me forward into a place that I know not what. I’m not fighting Him, I’m simply dead weight. Paralyzed. I am called. And sometimes I am called chicken.

I Am Confirmed by His Work

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. 10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.

God for certain bears witness in my life. He has done some amazing things! Much like the children of Israel I have been brought though the sea on dry ground. He has rescued me from myself so many times. Until now. And now I am in need of rescuing, I’ve been waiting for the waters to part and there hasn’t even been so much as a drop that has fled from before me. I feel as though I am drowning. Again and again I bear witness to myself of God’s deliverance. I bear witness of His confirmation of my purpose in life for which He has not only given me the passion for the purpose but the ability as well.  But not in a way that sustains my life which leaves me drowning and opens a door for Satan to ask “if you are called and confirmed, why are you not cared for?”

I Am Created By His Ways

13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? 14 Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.16 Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; 17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. 18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

When I identified myself in Christ, I became a new creation. Yet the old Shari resurfaces on a pretty regular basis. I often find myself thinking to have “figured God out.” Ha! That’s hysterical when I write those words out. How could I possibly think that I have figured God out? What I mean is, I believe to have figured out God’s ways. And yet I know that the scripture is clear when it says His ways are not my ways. I think that Israel may have thought they too had God figured out. They looked for Him to snap them out of their bondage in the same manner that He had brought them out of Egypt. The water that they were sure would be their demise, He parted. He got rid of the issue of water. But now water is not the issue. The barren wilderness is their issue. But the children of Israel are stuck remembering the parting of the sea. And while it’s good to recall how God brings us out, it’s not to say He’s going to bring us out the same way. God doesn’t change, but His methods certainly do. He told them He’d be doing a “new thing.”

I’ve been waiting for God to deliver me in the same manner as before, He has not. There’s a new manner of business. And clearly I need my eyes open and my ears ready to hear what the Lord says.  I covet your prayers if you’re so inclined. I know my purpose. But I need to understand the provision.