Sublime Design

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”   –   Psalm 139:14

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You are not a mistake.

Psalm 139 testifies to God’s grand love and design for us. God is in the business of molding all our circumstances, confusion, shattered dreams, past mistakes and sins into a beautiful pattern―for those who love God (Romans 8:28).

The following acronym is helpful for me in determining my vocational work and place in God’s kingdom-call:

DESIGN

Desires: Consider your interests. Pay attention to stories and songs that stir your heart. I empathize with lost and hurting people. I also love God’s Word and desire to share His freeing truth. What are your heart’s desires?

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”    –  Psalm 37:4

Experiences: What do you know? What skills do you possess? How has God helped you in past challenges? I went through a difficult time in college. I’ve shared how God used and helped me through that painful season in Faith Writer’s book, Trials and Triumphs, along with 39 other writers. I would love to hear your story!

Spiritual Gifts: These are gifts given from the Holy Spirit, meant to be used in service of God’s church (Romans 12:4-5). The Holy Spirit empowers believers to contribute to the church’s unity and growth: both in numbers and in maturity. The following passages mention these spiritual gifts: Ephesians 4:11; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; and 1 Corinthians 12:28-30.

Individual Style: Are you more compliant or dominant? Introverted or extroverted? Detached or compassionate? Cautious or Adventurous? I fall in the middle of introverted and extroverted. I am more compassionate, conscientious and adventurous than not. How about you? What are your dominant personality factors? God wants to use your unique style.

Growth Phase: God wants us to be lifelong learners in His Word (2 Timothy 2:15), in our kingdom-call, and in our vocations. What steps are you taking to grow in knowledge? My first priority is reading/studying the Bible and prayer. It’s where I learn to hear God’s voice/direction. Next, I want to grow as a parent and wife. I also want to develop my writing and photography skills through practice and classes.

Natural Abilities: God has given everyone abilities. I am not mechanical like my husband. But I have a vivid imagination. He helps me with the nuts and bolts. I help him see endless possibilities. 🙂 What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at?

God has good plans for you! (Jeremiah 29:11)

Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”   –  Psalm 139:16

The following link will take you to a Disney favorite, “When I Grow Up” by Colin Hesterly. Enjoy!

Bad News, Good News

Care to join me for a steaming latte? It’s 12 degrees fahrenheit in my neck of the woods. Brrr. Reason enough to enjoy the crackling fire with a hot drink within reach.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, God’s first call in our lives deals with salvation. In fact, most of the Bible centers around John 3:16 (NIV), “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The word salvation appears 164 times in the Bible. According to Strong’s Concordance, salvation is “mattâth” in Hebrew and Aramaic, which means “a present: ― gift; reward.” The Greek translation “soteria” means “rescue or safety.”

Salvation can be summarized as follows: deliverance from the power or penalty of sin.

Whose sin? Both yours and mine. We’ve all done wrong things and failed to obey God’s laws (Romans 3:23; 5:12).

The result? Separation from holy God, our Creator. This separation―the penalty of our sin―is eternal death (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:10-15). Our best efforts–moralism–fall short in our attempts to unite with God (Isaiah 64:6). That’s the bad news.

The good news: Jesus–God’s unique Son–never sinned (Hebrews 5:9). He alone bridged the gap between sinless God and sinful mankind when He freely died on the cross (1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 John 5:9-12). He took our place in order to save us from sin’s consequences―including God’s judgment and death (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:8-11).

The result? We can have new life because Jesus took our past, present, and future sins upon Himself, forgiving all our wrongdoing (Hebrews 10:5-18). Thus, He reconciles us to God (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:19-22). Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the proof that His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross was acceptable to God. His resurrection has become the source of new life for whoever believes Jesus is the Son of God (John 11:25; Romans 10:9). He grants eternal life, giving union with God to those who believe and receive Him (Ephesians 2:4-7; John 1:12).

Do you believe Jesus is God’s Son? If so, have you confessed your sins to Him and asked Him for the gift of eternal life and forgiveness?

*This article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at http://bit.ly/17RG5UK.

God’s Call

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Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a phone call from God–advising you where to live, whether you should work outside of the home, whether you should marry or remain single, etc.? Although God doesn’t speak audibly to us these days, He doesn’t hide His will for our lives either. This is found in God’s eternal Word, the Bible (Psalm 119:89, 105).

(This post article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at http://bit.ly/13Lnbwt.)

Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active.” The Bible isn’t simply a collection of words. It is life-changing through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. In a searching, sincere heart, God’s Word spurs on faith. It penetrates to the core of our moral and spiritual life.

The Greek word of “called” is kletos. This means: invited, ie. appointed. We are invited to participate in God’s plan.

Knowing God’s general will leads to knowing His specific will for our lives. What does God call us to?

  • SALVATION
  • SANCTIFICATION
  • SERVICE
  • ACCOUNTABILITY

The call in God’s Word isn’t a light matter, it requires decisions. God’s work in a person’s life requires a demonstration of trust in His character and promises. His call often brings discomfort at first. Just as an athlete must train if she wants to win, likewise God’s call pushes us spiritually. But we will be the better for it, not only now, but for eternity. And, His rewards are unrivaled.

My next post will center on salvation.

Food for thought:

  • Do you believe in a heaven and hell? If so, where will you go? Why?
  • If you died today and stood before God, and He asked you, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” What would you say?