God Made Us Each to be Us

Craig’s two kids are in the same class at school, and the teacher had the class write reports about their pets.  After the reports were all turned in, the teacher called one of the youngsters up to her desk and scolded him.

“This report on ‘My Dog’ is exactly, word for word, the same as your brother’s.  Did you copy from him?”

He replies, “No Ma’am. It’s about the same dog.”

Even though lives are similar, each one is unique and special.  There is no one like you.  God made us each special and unique.  And everyone’s impression of us will be a bit different because they are all unique.  God made us each to be us. Remember that, especially if you are trying to be someone you are not. 

Psalm 139:14                         

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

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God Made Us Each to be Us

Better Days Ahead

The story is told of a man who was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room.  He kept saying out loud, “I hope I’m sick. I hope I’m sick. I hope I’m sick.” Finally the receptionist asked, “Why in the world would you want to be sick.” He said. “I’d hate to be well and feel this bad.”

Sometimes we approach life the same way.  If I am not feeling good, or if my life is not going the way I think it ought to be, then that means that there is something wrong with me, my faith, or something else.  Sometimes we just have bad days.  They are a part of life.  What you do with a bad day is endure it, go back to bed, and pray for a better day tomorrow.  Remember, it is just one day out of 365, and that is in just one year.  I’m sure a better day lies ahead.

Psalm 118:24

24 The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.

Better Days Ahead

“How Majestic is Your Name”

There are certain names that when spoken it simply creates an aura of adoration and respect.  Gather around a group of classical musicians and say the name “Beethoven”.  Gather around a group of literature professors and say, “Shakespeare.”  Gather around a group of Kentucky fans and say “Rupp”.  You get the point.  Yet, there is one name that all of creation knows that when it is spoken, there is that adoration and respect.  Say the name of our Lord, and all the creation cries out, “How majestic is Your name!”

Today, let that name that is above all other names be close to you.  Let it be spoken by you.  Let it be on your heart, in your mind, and on your lips all day long.  And allow that name, the name of Jesus, to create that adoration and respect in your life today. 

Psalm 8:1

For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] A psalm of David.

1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.

“How Majestic is Your Name”

A Patient Faith

How long!  Have you ever echoed those words?  I know I have.  I have seen loved ones struggle with an issue and I pray “How long, O Lord”.  I have walked with members of the church family through some difficult times, and You have faith that God will do the right thing, but you are just wondering when He will act.  “How long, O Lord.  How Long?” 

Faith requires patience.  God doesn’t act on our schedule or in our ways.  God is God.  Yet, this we know.  We know that God is powerful.  We know that God is good.  We know that God is love.  This is why, even as we ask “How Long”, we can have a patient faith.  It is because we know who God is. 

Psalm 6:3

3 My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?

A Patient Faith

The One Who Took My Place

Have you ever done something that deserved a “whoopin'”?  Not just a spanking, but a full-fledged,take you out back, and whoop some sense into you kind of whoopin’?  If you have, and you knew that you were caught, and you knew what was coming….how did you plead with the said whooperer?  Was it a calm (in my best British accent) “please don’t paddle me, mother.” Or was it, “mama!!!! I love you.  You’re the best.  I’m sorry. I’m sorry.  Please don’t beat me, mama!  Please…I confess…I’m sorry. I won’t do it again….” 

Now imagine a sinful person like us coming before a holy and righteous God!  We know we deserve a whoopin’!  We know a whoopin’ is about to happen.  What do we do?  We beg for mercy.  And when we do…we find it.  But here is the deal.  We find mercy because another has taken the whoopin’ for us. 

The author of the Psalm pleaded for God not to rebuke Him in anger.  We who are so blessed to live on this side of the cross give thanks to God for the One who took our place and bore our punishment on Himself.  Today, when you think of the punishment we are do, when you think of the “whoopin'” we deserve…think of the grace that was given and the One who took your place.

Psalm 6:1-2

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith.[b] A psalm of David.

1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.

The One Who Took My Place

Do You Want to Live a Life God Abhors or Adores? 

From these two verses, we know that there are a few things the Lord can’t stands for (to quote Mr. Edwards from “Little House on the Prairie”.  He can’t stands for lying.  He can’t stands for those who are quick to do violence and evil upon another.  And He can’t stands for those who are deceitful.  Elsewhere, we are told that He opposes the proud, the selfish, the haughty, and vegetarians (“okay, I made that last part up…but how can you not love steak?”)  Yet, if we look at our celebrities and those we place on pedestals in our society….they seem to emulate all these aspects. 

But listen to what the author of the Psalm does.  He bows down with great reverence in worship to the Lord.  This is the person God adores.  So today is a simple question, do you want to live a life that God abhors or one that He adores?   

Here is a kicker for me!  Even for those that have lived a life that He abhors…He still loves us and calls us to live a life that glorifies Him and is better for us.  How great is that!

Psalm 5:6-7

you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
you, Lord, detest.
7 But I, by your great love,
can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
toward your holy temple.

Do You Want to Live a Life God Abhors or Adores? 

Be As Christ

Have you ever had to be in a room with a person you couldn’t stand?  I once was assigned to sit at a dinner table across from a belligerent man who wanted to discuss nothing but politics and everything that is wrong with everybody else (you know the kind).  He was loud, he was abrasive, and he was foul mouthed (both in words and in breath…phew!).  I could put up with it, but not everyone at the table could.  One person got up, told the man in no certain terms where he could go (it wasn’t a nice place), and then moved to another table.  When discussing it later, she said that she just couldn’t enjoy a meal at a table with such filth spewing from such a man. 

I thought that as I read this verse, except in reverse.  What if that lady was such a holy presence that the man when he behaved in such a way immediately felt convicted and felt like he ought to stop behaving in such a way because of her presence. 

What must it be like to be in the presence of pure holiness?  We know somewhat?  We read of Jesus eating with sinners, and how sinners came to Him feeling loved yet wanting to change and follow Him.   

My prayer for us today is that we will live in such a way where others want to change and follow Christ because of the grace we have displayed in our own lives. 

Psalm 5:4-5                         

4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand
in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;

Be As Christ