A repository of beauty, a cache of treasure all given for our pleasure

Sundays are an amazing day for me, I love to worship, I love to meet with God and I love to rest and relax on my only day off work.  Today I went on the most beautiful walk, through an area I hadn’t visited for a long time.  The beauty of this part of Derbyshire is amazing and we were blessed to see so much wildlife on the way round. I truly felt the words of this Psalm were for me today:

Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

REJOICE AND BE GLAD

And on the seventh day God rested, he looked at all he had made and it was more than good, he must have stood in heaven looking down and smiled at his design, time after time he must stop in awe and wonder at the stunning magnificence of his creation, the interpretation of his majesty, the reflection of his glory, a repository of beauty, a cache of treasure all given for our pleasure, all gifted to us, an indication of all that awaits us in heaven, the beauty of creation stirs our imaginations to a crescendo of anticipation for if today is the day the Lord has made for us here on earth how much better the days that await us in heaven and that brings praise to my lips and worship to my heart, this truly is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it, celebrating God’s love reflected in his gifts, anticipating the day he comes again to lift me high to his right hand, to take me to his promised land

Just how did you make this world so beautiful?

I have just come back from a beautiful walk and what a way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Our God is a truly magnificent and awesome God, his creation, our temporary home is so unbelievably beautiful, we are truly blessed.

AMAZING CREATION

Your creation is amazing, new life grazing in the fields, a myriad of hues adorning the trees, new shoots bursting forth from the ground, colours surrounds me, your attention to detail outstanding, what joy fills my heart as I walk through farmland, over hill and through the dales, your creation never fails to set my mind racing, as I think of you designing each creature, each feature lovingly crafted, each animal celebrated for its own role in nature, just how did you make this world so beautiful?  The plants and flowers so bountiful, the colours so vibrant, so very abundant, the rivers and streams, the grass and the meadows, the sunshine and shadows, the clouds in the sky, the sun and the rain combining to produce a spectrum of colour, the rainbow reminds us of your unbroken promise, the forests full of peace and calmness, this world shows me you’re not a remote God, not a dead God, your creation shows me you are alive, you are a God that thrives, a God that gives and a God of love, a God who gave us the most magnificent world to call our own, this world that you crafted our temporary home.

I am beautiful, cherished, special and loved.

God is bigger than all we see with our eyes. By that I mean that we inevitably fail to see the bigger picture.  At first glance we don’t see the intricacy of the work God is doing all around us or in us and we need to ask for revelation to fully understand his plans for us.  One thing is sure, we don’t need to strive to achieve, because God tells us to stand still, to wait on him.  We don’t need to doubt because we know that no word from God, none of his promises for our lives will fail.  Most excitingly we don’t need to be concerned because whatever God has in store for us, whatever his plans they are out of this world and out of our realm of understanding in their perfection.  We may not understand now what God is doing, but rest assured it is all for our good.

  • 1 Samuel 12;16 – Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!
  • Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Saviour; my God will hear me.
  • Luke 1:37 – For no word from God will ever fail
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9 – However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him-

It’s good to have  a vision ourselves, to have dreams and aspirations in our walk with God, because his plans are even greater than ours, his vision even more perfect and he will direct our paths way beyond anything we can think of to glorify his name.

VISION

I have a vision for the beauty and the glory of who God created me to be, it’s not always been that way, I can say with clarity that it took some time for me to see myself as beautiful, a lifetime of abuse and self-doubt resulted in my pulling out of any conversation with God which I found hard, and then he helped me to see what he saw when he looked at me, beauty, sensitivity, creativity, all those things he created me to be slowly blossoming as he encouraged me to process his love for me, he opened my eyes to the intricacy of his plans for me, and gradually, as he said he loved me I would stop looking over my shoulder to see who he loved, when he said rest in me, I would take his words seriously, not questioning my suitability to be invited into his presence, and when he said he wanted me as part of his family, I didn’t think he was crazy, a Princess Warrior on the march, clothed in strength and dignity, my personality refined, my character defined, my hopes and desires aligned with those of the one true God and one day I will see the big picture not just the colour God is currently using in my painting, but I’m no longer waiting to understand his plans, stepping out in faith and trust I crush the enemy’s lies and deceit under my feet as I stand in agreement with God’s word, I am beautiful, cherished, special and loved.

God’s laws have been hurled as far as eat from west

I know that before I gave my life to Jesus I had a stronghold in my life that I hadn’t handed to him.  My sexuality was the overriding issue, a stronghold of the enemy that he was not wanting to give up without a fight. The simple question in a sermon, “Have you opened every door of your heart to Jesus” blew this wide open.  I now know the quote from A. W Tozer –

“You can’t truly rest until every area in your life rests in God”

How very true, it wasn’t until I handed that area to God and repented that I could even start to find the peace that I feel today.

How awesome to know that I have that rest and I am reminded of how special that is when I read this verse in Psalm 27.

Psalm 27:4 – One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

ASHES TO BEAUTY

No rest, mind in turmoil, like a coiled spring, nothing going out and nothing coming in, sin weighing heavy on my mind, difficulty finding my way, not wanting to say to God that this sin was hard to give up, this was me, my identity, my sexuality and I had difficulty recognising that I wasn’t born to be this way, I wasn’t born gay, I am a product of a fallen world, a sinful world where God’s laws have been hurled as far as eat from west, man thinks that he knows best, he laughs, he scoffs, he pays the cost, I was lost but Jesus found me, I was heading down the path of sin and shame but Jesus never pointed the finger of blame, his love for me incredibly gentle, he understood the fragility of my mental state, he offered me escape, with Grace he forgave me, with strength he made me capable of turning my life around, I have that promised rest and I ask one more thing of the Lord that I will dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, I praise him that I am alive and I can gaze on his beauty, truly I know that I am blessed, what I had then was nothing less than the lies of the enemy who sought to keep me chained and bound, yes I was lost but now I’m found, freedom from the ruler of the heavenly Kingdom, through the ashes I have come.

Fascinated for all eternity by your beauty

One day we will see the beauty of God for ourselves.  I was thinking about this when listening to a song this morning.  When I think of some of the most beautiful places I have been to in this world, where nature has literally made me gasp in amazement then I have to excitedly anticipate the day when God’s own beauty will be revealed.  You see all I have experienced is the beauty of God’s amazing creation which to me is mind blowing so how much more I have to look forward to in the future.  I was reading in Isaiah about the Seraphim and kind of got that the two wings covering their faces are because the beauty of God is too much to behold.  Interesting to think about heaven.  On one level I kind of just think it will be great but when I look at it on a deeper or more intricate level I just know I will be fascinated for all eternity by all the beauty I am going to encounter when I finally get there.

  • Revelation 22:4-5 – They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
  • Psalm 27:4 – One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.
  • Isaiah 6:2-3 – Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.  And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’
  • Isaiah 33:17 -Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; they will behold a far-distant land.
  • Acts 7:55 – But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;

 BEAUTIFUL

Fascinated for all eternity by your beauty, as we the newly appointed residents of your heavenly Kingdom bow in fearsome reverence and praise we’ll see your face, no more night, just eternal day and we shall reign for ever and ever a reward for those who have spent their days seeking to obey, as we sought salvation God has brought us through every temptation to dwell in his house all the days of our lives, to behold his beauty, to meditate duly in his temple, our eyes will see the King in his beauty, we shall gaze intently into his glory our old lives gone, history, this a new story, a story of amazing grace where the light of your face will flow into our space, the race has been run a new chapter begun, and there is nothing more perfect that I can imagine than to see just a fraction of your beauty, to finally see a reflection of your perfection.

Walk through the valley

Yes Jesus Loves You…. Words that didn’t really hit home this morning after a heated discussion with my partner who is not interested in God, “he doesn’t love me, I’m gay, I don’t want to know him”.  To put it mildly I was so upset, have been praying for some time now that she will come to know Jesus and as I walked to the station tears rolling down my face I just said God how are you going to do this she is not interested, she won’t change.

But our God is a God of love, of patience and of kindness, our God longs for us all to come to know him so after some time of praying and praising our awesome God I kind of felt better and started to rebuke the enemy – you are not having her, God is in control and God has a plan, and he has, just because I can’t see the way doesn’t mean there isn’t one, I will keep praying and praising and on the day she gives her life to God I know that all the angels in heaven will be praising with me.

THE VALLEY

As I walk through the valley I strain to see the beauty all around me, the mountains loom high and wide and freedom inhabits the other side.

As I walk through the valley I ask Jesus to join me, to walk the path alongside me, he comforts me, guides me, makes molehills out of mountains, flattens the path and I see that victory resides on the other side.

As I walk through the valley I feel God’s love surround me and suddenly the beauty engulfs me, my eyes are opened as I grasp the reality that Jesus my saviour is with me constantly.

As I walk through the valley I say to the enemy, there’s nothing you can say or do to dent me, I belong to God and I am redeemed, I belong to God and I am complete.

As I walk through the valley the path becomes clearer, I look at my surroundings and I feel my God nearer.

Out of difficulties grow miracles

Saw a post on Facebook today – out of difficulties grow miracles – based on 1 Peter 5:10.  Went on to read 1 Peter 5 and it’s a powerful message.

1 Peter 5:10 – And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast

Message Version – Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

Four words stood out for me and reassures us of God’s hand in our lives

  • Restore – brings me back to his perfect and original design
  • Strong – strengthens me to overcome problems
  • Firm – make me stable and makes sure I won’t trip over any obstacle
  • Steadfast – makes me unmovable no matter what the devil does in my life

FREEDOM

I met God who painstakingly put me back together again, broken becomes beauty when God does the mending no longer fending for myself, casting all my anxieties on him because he cares and out of those difficulties grew miracles, I’m thankful for my struggle for without it I would never have found my strength in God, Jesus saw the wholeness of who I am, built on solid rock I now have a firm foundation and I have salvation, a new stability allowing me to overcome all hostility from the enemy, God owns my story and is leading me to eternal glory, restored, brought back to his perfect and original plan, his strength in me helping me to overcome all difficulties and he holds me fast, unmovable, fixed and anchored, no matter what the enemy throws at me I am free back on my feet and I can see the strength of his Spirit working in me.