For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
In Jesus I have good works prepared by God for me to do… how wonderful is that knowledge.
Obviously the good is determined by God not me. Which is reassuring because I have a tendency to choose temporary earthly pleasures over eternal goodness and true joy.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Yes, in Jesus my life will be good, pleasing and perfect, and He will never leave me to do otherwise.
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”
Jonathan Swift – Thoughts On Various Subjects
I often think the scenes I try to capture and preserve in photos are little bits of the great beauty that Jesus splashes across His creation. Whether anyone notices is not relevant to beauties existence, it just is because God is good. Wave upon wave in unending splendor speaks of the glory of God. This is also true in my life; I have ongoing grace lavished upon me––His glorious presence working for my good. Sometimes I have the eyes to see it and thank Him, but often I am too preoccupied and it goes unnoticed. Like the beauty in nature, grace is not given only where it will be appreciated, it is freely poured out in abundance because that is the nature of God. His goodness and love lavished freely upon His creation.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23 :5-6)
I need to continually remind myself to pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and wisdom to comprehend all that God is doing. Then with a heart of gratitude I can truly see, hear, and give thanks.
Searing memories from the past
They crash into living
Making life die once more.
Swept up in their painful embrace
There is no running only hiding
Till it burns down but never out.
Gathering strength waiting to rise.
Can God turn yesterday back,
Free me from my past?
He anoints my head with oil.
I let Him have my pockmarks,
Trusting Him to mold history.
He makes my enemy a footstool for His feet,
And holds me in His lap.
This scene was beautiful but short-lived, the next year a second fire burned through this area. Life is like this landscape: beautiful for a time, but things happen. That is why I love John 14:6
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – Jesus
His compassion is new every morning.
He forgives me and helps me forgive.
He gives me a new heart.
He opens my eyes to see, and my ears to hear.
He is my strength and my self control.
He is the good shepherd watching over me and my family.
He is my shield.
He is my hope that conquers fear.
He is my peace and security––my Rock.
He loves me with an enduring love.
He promised to come back and take me home with Him.
No matter what happens He will never leave me nor forsake me.
He is just what I need for life.
Often, when I try to pray, past memories harp at me about why I’m unworthy to go before God. Only when I pray trusting in the power of Jesus to forgive all my past and future, am I able to enter the peace of God’s presence. Placing my faith in the His grace, and the power of Christ’s blood is the key. God’s love then quiets the cacophony in my head and brings me to innocent communion with Him.
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. –Ephesians 3:12
I need the Lord’s help to remember the sufficiency of His grace. I need the Lord’s help to forget the ugliness He has forgiven. I need the Lord’s help to live for Him in the innocence He gives.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth. (Isaiah 42:3-4)
Jesus takes what no one else wants.
He takes a meager lunch, and makes a feast for thousands.
He takes plain water, and makes the finest wine.
He takes what is worthless, and makes it cherished.
He takes weakness and through it topples strongholds.
He can take someone on their last breath, and make it last for eternity.
He can take an incurable addict, and create a beacon to shine in the night.
He can take a prostitute not worth another trick, and make her holy.
He can take a naked crazy man, and fill him with peace.
He can take a criminal at his execution, and in death bring life.
He can take my place in hell, and give me His place in heaven.
There is no hopeless soul that cannot find hope in Him.
There is no ugliness that will not yield to His goodness.
There is no hate that cannot be conquered by His love.
There is no hurt that He cannot heal.
He will not falter or be discouraged till He accomplishes all He has set out to do.
All we need do is open the door and let Him in.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:19-20)