Friday, 26 January 2018

God's Art Of Kintsugi

Proverbs 31:18 She perceives that her merchandise is good: her candle goes not out by night.

      Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Embracing the flawed or imperfect. This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken and as a justification of kintsugi itself, highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage. Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated. 
      The above Wikipedia explanation likely falls short of expressing the full meaning of the art of Kintsugi, but I love the parallel with how God uses the blood of Jesus to repair our fractured, broken and lost lives. The beauty of the bowls that have been repaired with silver and gold in order to give the bowls a new lease on life or keep its use going forward is a wonderful idea to an art lover like myself. 
      For God is truly an artist and His work on all our damaged parts within our soul, body, and mind is incredible. God repairs, heals, and restores us for His use again and we can glory in our weakness that God fixed by the power of the blood of Jesus. 2 Cor. 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
      There is no shame in our weakness once the Lord has sprinkled the life-giving force of Christ's blood on us. Like the art of Kintsugi, our repairs are gloried in because they show the love God has for us. If God did not love us, He would have left us broken and never had sent Jesus to bring us back to Himself. 
      Would it have been better to never have broken down in the first place? Yes, however, thank God He cared for us while we were rejecting Him. Rom. 5:8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! 
      God sees our end from the beginning and He perceives our value. Prov. 31:18a She perceives that her merchandise is good. With love and artistry, the Holy Spirit brings the balm of Gilead and applies the healing balm to the wounds we struggle under and anoints us for the task at hand. 
      Everything God does for us is to resurrect our lives from the pit and bring us into an overwhelming victory for His glory. The Lord fixes the cracks in our lives with His miraculous works and unveils us anew, ready to be a brilliant vessel for and in the Kingdom of God. 2 Cor. 3:18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
      There is no art on earth that can compare to the beautiful work God has done for mankind. Our God, the artist, has gone beyond anything man is capable of to prove His love for us. 
      If you are broken in any way, shape or form, then bring your life to the Lord now and let God build, restore, heal, or save your life because He sees the full value of your eternal worth. Jesus died to prove how much He loves you. Now say, "Even so Lord Jesus, come - take my life and use it for what it was created to do." In Jesus name!

Friday, 19 January 2018

Help! I Need Somebody

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.

      ♪ ♬(Help!) I need somebody (Help!) ♩Not just anybody (Help!) ♪You know I need someone (Help!)♫
      In 1965, through serendipity, John Lennon may not have known that the opening lyrics to the song 'Help' might become a cry or even a prayer for many people living in this fractured world today. 

      I was humming and singing this song the other day when I realized I was thanking God for all the wonderful things He had done for me - when I got to the lines "When I was younger so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in any way. But now these days are gone and I'm not so self assured. Now I find I've changed my mind, I've opened up the doors." I said, "Wow Lord, that is exactly what happened. I opened up the door of my life and you moved in and changed it - you gave me your righteousness." Only God in His mercy could have helped me that way. Psalm 109:26 Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy.
      Help, Lord! What a simple prayer. Psalm 38:22 Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior. There is such truth in the statement that God is faithful. He is the only real help because He knows our innermost thoughts and intent of the heart. The Lord intimately knows exactly what kind of help we need. Man's intuition and limited knowledge cannot perceive the depth of our needs; therefore, leaves us wanting, grasping and needy. Psalm 60:11 Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. 
      Our cry is "Help us, Lord! We are overwhelmed with troubles that are above our ability to overcome. Lord God, the reports of cancer, substance abuse, unnatural obsessions, debilitating anxiety, crushing fears of the unknown, and the inability to trust in anything has stripped us of confidence in ourselves. We need somebody who has overcome all the onslaught, sins, and problems of the world. We need our Savior to step in on our behalf. We need you Lord, a champion who can truly help." Psalm 124:8  Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. In short - help! It is Godly wisdom at work within us when we call on God for His help. 
      It does not matter how many years we have walked with our God, there will never be a time we will not need God's help. Why do so many people wait 'til they are having a near-death experience, or they hit the bottom of darkness before humbling themselves and finally praying for help? Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. 
      Why do we wait 'til we are at the point of being spiritual starved and destitute, like the prodigal son, before we think of returning home to the Father? Luke 15:17  When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! This inability to ask for help is a form of pride. I call it, "The pride of the worm." This pride should not be our default setting. Asking God for help should be a normal daily request that comes genuinely out of our heart.
      Help! I need somebody, and that somebody is the Lord Jesus. Jesus is the only honest, true, and reliable help we have in this life. Can man bring assistance and lighten our burdens and difficulties in life? Yes. However, there is no other supernatural help out there for the needs of our soul other than from the Lord Jesus. Acts.4:12 Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. 
      Heavenly Father, help us all recognize that you have all the answers for our life - now and forevermore. Help us not be ashamed or reluctant to call on your goodness for help. Jer. 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer you, and shew you great and mighty things, which you know not. We need your help, Lord. Amen.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Not Guilty!

Proverbs 30:10 Don't slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.

      We feel guilty because we are guilty! Guilty of slander, guilty pleasures, guilty feelings, guilty plea, guilty sin, and guilty of breaking laws. Whether the laws are spiritual, federal, state, provincial, municipal, or social we are guilty of breaking some law - somehow and somewhere. 
      People feel guilty because they are guilty of sin. Guilt is their default setting in life and a need to be set free of the guilt is felt deep within but with no understanding of how to get it done; therefore, they stay guilty as charged. This is why these same people come up with all kinds of self-righteous antics to appease the accusations of guilt that are running wild within their soiled souls. Rom. 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 
      How obvious it becomes to those who are in Christ to see the need for a Savior to save and deliver them from their guilt and their personal idea of righteousness. To be pronounced guiltless and sinless by our God because of our faith in the work of the cross and blood of Jesus is an overwhelming blessing within our soul. The peace within our conscience will cause us to bring praises and gratitude to our Lord when we find ourselves resting in the love of God who says we are no longer guilty as charged. 
      The worldly person cannot see their need for deliverance from their guilt because their scales of tit for tat in life are rigged in their personal favor at best and warped at worst. Prov. 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight. 
      The just weight, in this case, can only be justified through Christ and His finished work of redemption. Only God can remove our guilt through His perfect sacrifice. There is nothing within ourselves that can pull it off. Isa. 43:11 I, yes I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.
      If we as Christians, are going to be held guilty, then let it be for good works and the destruction of the devil's attacks and agendas. Let us not be guilty of slandering our brothers, sisters, and leaders whom the Lord our Master has redeemed. 1 Pet. 3:17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! 
      We should be proclaiming what Sargent Shriver said when asked about the Peace Corps' enthusiasm. "The Peace Corps is guilty of enthusiasm and a crusading spirit. But we're not apologetic for it." Yes, I will take that humble attitude into my Christian walk with Christ any day. May we all be accused and found guilty of being a blessing in the kingdom of God. May our attitudes be full of enthusiasm and a crusading spirit for helping redeem all man unto God in love.
      Guilt and shame can paralyze our growth in the Lord if we do not put all demonic accusations under the blood of Jesus. Feelings of not being good enough, loved, or accepted are not from God. Eph 1:4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. We have been accepted and made righteous through the finished work of the cross and the blood of Jesus. 
      We have been washed of our guilty sins and the charges that came with sin have also been acquitted. We are made new and the pronouncement of guilt over us is now "Not Guilty." 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
      The Apostle Peter was riddled with guilt when he denied knowing Jesus. Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times." 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly. After the Resurrection of Jesus, He encountered Peter and took away his guilt by restoring Peter's heart and setting him back on the Gospel trail so to speak. 
      Only Jesus can remove the guilt of sin because He paid for it in full. Only the Lord can renounce our eternal punishment because He took that punishment upon Himself. Only God can say we are not guilty because the guilt was nailed to the cross of Jesus and we are redeemed. What can we say but, "Thank you, Lord, for your goodness toward us." Amen.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Wayfinders

Proverbs 5:2 That you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge.

      For my friend Moana who is finding her way through the vast knowledge of God.
      The early Polynesians were known as 'Wayfinders'. Their navigational skills were used to travel through vast areas of the Pacific ocean in thousands of miles in any direction. They knew how to read the stars and measure the amount of salt in the different parts of the ocean. These wayfinders understood the clean or pungent odors on the winds passing by, plus they could measure the humidity in the air. 
      These brave ocean navigators could tell where they were by the flight patterns of birds they came across that were flying on the ocean breezes. Their voyages became longer. They developed a highly sophisticated navigational system based on observations of daily oceanic activity, cloud formations plus the nightly display of solar maps written in the constellations declaring their position on the high seas. Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
      The wayfinders knew where they were as they sailed from the far corners of the Polynesian triangle by the pull and push of currents, the color of the sea, and the coolness or warmth of the spray caused by the swells they navigated. In short, they acquired skills handed down by the elders to know how to use the natural rhythms of the ocean to find their way to the Polynesian islands that dotted the Pacific rim spread out thousands of miles throughout a vast ocean. These people developed the skills God gave them and became masters of navigation and exploration in their time and place in history. 
       2 Tim. 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The study and learning of God and His word in order to find a life of holiness is a similar voyage we are on. As we learn how to maneuver the vast ocean of God's eternity that is set before us - we set our sails for the enjoyment and living of a Godly life. 
      We, who are in Christ, have the privilege to navigate with God's help the endless depths of the Lord's love and relationship that is given to us by His grace and abundant mercies. It is God's idea and love for us that we develop skills to bring His love and favor to the next generation who were also created to be with Him throughout eternity. 
      We are God's wayfinders so to speak who will lead, shape, and trail blaze the vast areas of God's eternity. Whether our gifting in God is ministry, helps, or a leader of praise and worship, we will have to find our way with the holy compass God has put within each one of us. 
      We will also learn to read the numerous signs God has put before us to navigate our way to his throne of blessing. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will find God's plan for our lives and help bring those who are pilgrims in a strange land to a city made by God. Heb. 11:10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. 
      The beauty of being a wayfinder in God is that we will never come to the end of our journey, as the vastness of God's being is endless. It is said that the journey is the pleasure of life. Well saints, if that is the case our travels will never end because the unsearchable riches in Christ will be infinitely there for us to search out and enjoy the fullness of our salvation. 
      As kings and priests in the kingdom of God, we have the joy of seeking out the mysteries of life. Prov. 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. As wayfinders in the kingdom of our God, let us find what it is God has put within our hearts to make His universal plan and voyage of peace, love and powerful victory become our joy of the Lord. In Jesus name.