Monday, November 12, 2018

Never Satisfied


By Andrea Merrell

But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God?
Will the thing formed say to him who formed it,
"Why have you made me like this?"
Does not the potter have power over the clay,
from the same lump to make one vessel
for honor and another for dishonor:
Romans (:20-21 NKJV




We all know the Bible says “Judge not.” In other words, don’t put yourself in the position of judge over people, situations, and even yourself.

I’ve been guilty of all three, especially the latter. I’ve moaned and complained more times than I can count.

It seems we’re never satisfied. If we have curly hair, we’d prefer it to be straight. If we’re short, we want to be tall. If we’re musical, we’d rather be athletic—and vice versa.

It’s taken me a long time to realize that when we give God our laundry list of all the things we don’t like about ourselves, we dishonor the One who created us. The creation railing against the Creator. The sheep telling the Shepherd how to do his job. The clay instructing the potter.

God knew exactly what He was doing when He formed each of us in our mother’s womb. We are unique. Special. One of a kind. God breathed the breath of life into us with a plan and purpose that could be fulfilled by no one else. 

I’m not saying that I never complain anymore, but I’m certainly working on it. I love this quote by Barbara Walters that I read in a book many years ago: “I am who I am. I look like I look. I am my age.”

Wise words to live by. I think I’ll try it. How about you?

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)


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Monday, November 5, 2018

Exposed


By Andrea Merrell


But if we walk in the light as He is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son 
cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7 NKJV

I came home from a writers’ conference, and my husband had changed out the overhead light fixture in the kitchen. When he flipped the switch, I was suddenly drenched in LED brilliance and wanted to reach for my sunglasses.


 I felt exposed. It was like unexpectedly finding myself in the middle of a spotlight. The brightness also revealed every dirty spot and speck of dust in my kitchen. It was quite a wake-up call.

That’s what happens when God shines his light on our life. It exposes our weaknesses, our imperfections, and our sins. The light of His Word and His presence dispels the darkness and shows us what we need to surrender to Him in order to become the person He created us to be.

When we learn to walk in the light—the pure light of the Creator—each day, the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us and keeps us on the right path. No surprises. No getting caught off guard. No getting stuck in the dark.

Don’t be afraid of the light. Let God’s presence envelop you and fill you with His amazing love and peace.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Sira Anamwong.)

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Monday, October 29, 2018

God Believes in You


By Andrea Merrell

 
See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God! 
1 John 3:1 NIV


“I don’t believe in God,” the man said as he turned to walk away.

“That’s okay,” the woman called after him. “He believes in you.”

What she wanted to say—had the man been willing to listen—was, “God loves you. He created you for a purpose. He sent His Son to bear your sins and die for you. He most definitely believes in you.”

The adage “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it” is faulty at best. If God said it, that settles it. Period. It doesn’t matter whether we believe it or not. It is, as they say, what it is.

The truth is God believes in us so much that He relentlessly pursues us. A popular song talks about the reckless love of God. That love will light up shadows, climb up mountains, kick down walls, and tear down lies in His pursuit of us. It’s an overwhelming love that’s unconditional and has no end. It can’t be earned or bought. It’s a love that sees the best in every person and will endure for all eternity.

If you’re in a hard place today and your faith is being tested, remember this one thing: God believes in you!


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and the pathtraveler.)

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Time to Put Away the Toys

By Andrea Merrell

 
When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters,
for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child.
But the day came when I matured, 
and I set aside my childish ways.
1 Corinthians 13:11 TPT


When five granddaughters came into my life, I was suddenly surrounded by baby dolls, large-piece-easy-to-put-together puzzles, and an array of other toys created to entertain small children. I purchased a Pack n’ Play and filled a large drawer full of diapers and wipes. There was even a shelf with extra clothes (for each size) … just in case.

Now, all my beautiful girls are getting older. They’re no longer interested in the baby toys. My need for diapers has stopped, and I find myself faced with the task of cleaning out what is no longer used. Will they still use the coloring books? Should I get rid of the dollhouse and furniture? Are the puzzles ever to be used again? It's impossible to know for sure, so I'm having a hard time letting go.

The truth is it’s time to put the toys away. These days, when my girls come to visit, they want to play pool, ride on the golf cart, do flips in the yard, make slime (which Grandma can’t stand), read a book, or watch a movie. They are maturing and setting aside their childish ways.

In the same say, God expects us to mature in our Christian walk and set aside our own childish ways. Once we accept Christ and begin our journey with Him, we can no longer think, speak, or reason as a child.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ (Ephesians 4:15 NIV).

Growth and change are not always easy, but God walks us through the process step by step. Even though the memories will remain, getting rid of my girls’ stuff will be hard, but it’s time to put away the toys.

The great news for me is God has now blessed this family with a baby boy. Maybe I’d better hang on to the Pack ‘n Play and a few of the puzzles ... and especially the diapers.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Keep Your Focus on the Lord


By Andrea Merrell

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.
Psalm 138:8 NKJV

Suddenly, my world was blurry. I blinked, adjusted my glasses, blinked again. Nothing.

Thinking something was wrong with my eyes, anxiety crept in. Not a good feeling or situation when you’ve had a corneal transplant and cataract surgery in each eye. Thankfully, before panic could fully set in, I realized one of the nose pieces on my glasses was missing, causing my lenses to shift and throw my vision out of focus.

But isn’t that what happens with our spiritual vision? When something is missing in our walk with the Lord, our life shifts and throws everything off. Our vision becomes blurry.

The Bible is full of instructions about keeping our hearts and minds fixed on Him. Why? Because He is always with us and promises to perfect all that concerns us—every problem, situation, circumstance, and decision. When our thoughts wander away from His presence, we fail to see our way clearly.

In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young shares His heart with us:

A trusting response includes me in your thoughts as you consider strategies to deal with a situation. My continual presence is a promise, guaranteeing that you never have to face anything alone. Gently bring your attention back to me whenever it wanders away. I look for persistence—rather than perfection—in your walk with me. ~Jesus

If you’re struggling to make sense of what’s happening in your life, check your spiritual glasses. Maybe the nose piece has fallen off, and all you have to do is replace it. Shift your attention back to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will bring all things back into focus.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and photostock.)

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