Saturday, August 23, 2008

He just won't stop...

And praise the Lord that He continues to lead me to His word that encourages me.  This morning, I randomly picked up a devotional with I Peter 3:1-9 scripture reading.  Verses 3 - 5 just jumped out at me: 

3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. (NLT - you can click here and read all the translations that you prefer.)

The author of the devotional was referring to 'submission,' but I saw something in addition to that. I am referring here to the struggle I have had with how I look, instead of leaving that struggle, as we say, at the Cross.  What happened for me at the Cross?  I confessed 'I am a sinner and I need the salvation that only Jesus Christ can give.'  And He gave it to me.  What I am learning is that Jesus also wants me to leave all my struggles at the Cross as well... He wants ALL of me and I sure do want Him to have all of me.  He alone can show me what to believe about myself, because I sure can't do it on my own.  "Which is so precious to God."(vs.4) Do you see, self, what is precious and important to God?  It's sure not how disgruntled I am about how I look.  It's that beautiful, gentle and quiet spirit that He is working within me that is so precious to God.  Now if that's what's important to God, I certainly do not want to have the audacity to choose something else to focus on about myself.  I choose what God chooses, by His grace.

Verses such as:

II Corinthians 12:9-10

9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

are taking on a whole new reality, meaning, truth for me.  Oh my goodness, do you see what that says?  'I am well content with weaknesses for Christ's sake.'  That means that I am to be content (I translate that to mean 'happy' even) and if there is any change seen in me, it will be because of the strength of Christ Jesus in me and He deserves all the glory.

Pray for me as I count my  weaknesses (all) and give them to my Lord.  Rejoice with me as I focus on Jesus Christ and His strength and His all-sufficient grace.  All-sufficient means ALL sufficient.  A friend once told me that her pastor always said, "All means all and that's all all means."  We say it, but do we really know what ALL means?  I'm learning.

Truths from Psalm 139:

"13 You (Elohim) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
      and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
      as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You (El Roi) saw me before I was born.
      Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
   Every moment was laid out
      before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
      They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
      they outnumber the grains of sand!
   And when I wake up,
      you (El Shaddai) are still with me!"

Bless Your Word, Lord, and may these words sink deep within my soul, spirit, mind and body.

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