Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's Broken, But It's Beautiful

This all started with something a friend of mine said to me while we were walking on the beach this week.  She said as we looked at a broken shell on the ground, "It's broken, but it's still beautiful."  That statement hit me and I pondered it the rest of the afternoon.

I think that at the point when we become our most vulnerable and open to God and what he has to say is when we are broken and on our face before him.  We may be in a broken state, but what he see's is beauty, because he can see his plan for us, and he can see that we have become pliable, and moldable, and he can start his work in us.

You see, if we never come to a point where we become broken, and spilled out, then we never become soft enough for God to transform us into the person that we are to be.  No one ever see's what's inside, and the beauty of the Lord will never shine out from us.  If you are in a place of brokenness right now, know that you are beautiful.  You may not be able to see it, but God does, and others do also.  
Broken And Spilled Out by Steve Green

Perseverance or Patience

James 1:2-4
New International Version (NIV)
 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4
King James Version (KJV)
 2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

I put both versions, because one says perseverance, and the other says patience.  I like the word perseverance here, although the word patience is a good word also.

Perseverance is an interesting thing to me.  It's the hardest thing to do, but yet without it you don't learn and grow to maturity in faith.  The way we learn perseverance is when we go through trials.  The Lord may test my faith at times, but holding on and keeping faith and persevering through the trial will make my faith stronger, because I an exercising it.

Faith isn't just believing that God is who he says he is.  Faith is believing that he can do what he says he can do, and trusting him to do it.  Faith is continuing to trust even when you don't think you can continue, because you want an answer now, or you don't understand why God has said no.  It takes persevering through trials in order to make this faith grow.

Word of Jesus

John 3:14-17
 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:16 is probably one of the most used verses in the Bible.  It's the first verse that I ever learned by heart.  I find the verse after it, verse 17, to have a great deal of significance also.  He wasn't sent to condemn the world, but that the wourl might, through him, be saved.  Jesus knew what his purpose was, and why he was here, and I believe in these 4 verses, he was telling Nicodemus what that purpose was.  I believe there was a purposed to everything he said and did while he was here on earth.  In this little talk with Nicodemus he seems to have revealed that purpose to Nicodemus.

In verses 14-17 Jesus pretty much lays out the plan God has for his life.   When he says, "evenso must the Son of man be lifted up", he was talking about himself on the cross, and then in 15 and 16 he talks about what the benefit for man would be.  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  Then he goes on to say that he wasn't there to condemn, but to save.  

Every time I read these verses, I am reminded of what Jesus did on the cross, and the sacrifice he made so that I could be reconsiled with God the Father.  He didn't have to do it, but he did, because he loved us so much.  His love for us is what held him to the cross, and it's why we can have a personal, and vital relationship with God, not just God the Father, but with God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit also.  

It starts with having faith enough to believe that Jesus died for our sins, and that through Him we have eternal life.  It starts with letting him take the wheel and letting him drive us in the direction that he needs us to go, and trusting him for the strength, endurance, and faith to make it through.