In All Things

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” -James 1:17

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God is good and He gives us perfect gifts. God gives gifts because He loves us and wants to bless us. He is a good Father (see Matthew 7:7-11)!

Sometimes good gifts come in unexpected packages. God surprises us with His gifts and we stand amazed at His goodness. And sometimes His gifts come in unwelcome packages. These gifts are good for us but may come in a package that we don’t think we want. But what may seem like an unwelcome gift contains a priceless treasure. It’s our job to discover that treasure and allow it to transform us in the process.

How do we respond when God gives us something that seems not good? At this point, we need to realize that God uses ALL things for His good in our lives. He has a purpose and a reason.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” God has a high calling and a high purpose for us as sons and daughters of God, to walk in the power of His glory.

If we love God and are pursuing His purpose, ALL things work for our good. What is God’s purpose? God’s primary purpose is our redemption and the transformation of our character for His glory. Romans 8:29 says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” God’s wants us to share in the glory of His Son and there is no greater gift than the glory of Jesus.

God’s plan includes trouble, but God uses trouble for His purpose. The key to Romans 8:28 is Romans 8:29 – God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. God uses ALL things to make us like Jesus.

Romans 8:31-32 says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

We need to remember that in ALL things God is for us – He is not against us. He has given us ALL things in Christ. He has given us everything we need. He wants to see us succeed in every area of life. He has given us many gifts to help us on this journey, if we will tap into the gift of His presence and the gift of His word. “[H]umbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:21).

No matter the situation, you are more than a conqueror. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). In ALL things, you are a conqueror. In ALL things, you are victorious! No matter the trouble, in Christ, God has given you the ability to triumph in every situation.

ALL for Jesus!

The Mystery of Love

For Leslie50

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
-Ephesians 5:31-32

three things are a mystery to me
four things, indeed
the way of the snake on the rock
the ship on the sea
the eagle that glides on the wind
and the man with the lady
two imperfect hearts
perfectly bound as one
two intrepid souls combined
a fierce bond not easily broken
forever entwined
in the mystery called love

oh, how she drives me crazy
how she moves, she glides in my arms
she twists and she twirls
and sways unsteady in my embrace
this delicate pleasure
this inestimable treasure
how she delights me with soft touch
tender grasping, intimacy aroused
souls laid bare, wide open
she is joy and tantalizing delight
Oh, my sweet, I chase hard after you
in this mystery of love

you are exalted above all maidens of the earth
with fondness, you have my admiration
you are the fairest of them all
Snow White, Cinderella
we dance like a ship on the sea
my heart flies like the eagle
a lump in my throat
as I, mere man, behold the beauty
your tanned body
I am weak in my knees
as I am in awe of who you are
inside and out
it will take a lifetime to mine your treasures
study your complexities
ponder your mystery
captured and enraptured by your love
the beauty of the bride
I am lost for words
in this mystery of love

we are a word picture on display
revealing Christ and His church
I love you as my own body
washing you in the water of His word
your form is so lovely
your spirit lovelier still
I delight in your purity
lean on the strength of your character
you are steady like a rock
you flow softly like a stream
you are pure as the dove from heaven
and I find such sweet comfort
in your embrace
I find my home, in this mystery of love