- Think back to when you were very young. How did God make you to be? What qualities did he place in you that seem to have stayed with you through the years? These define you and help you understand how God is leading you today to make your unique contribution.
- When I was a boy, God gave me two things I’ll never forget. I was saved at the age of 9 years old, and God gave me a deep interest in his Word, the Bible. I started reading a chapter each day, starting in Genesis and going in order, reading it cover to cover, for as long as it took. When I finished with Revelation, I would start over again. One of the things I realized is God gave us Genesis to teach us he created the world to be in fellowship with him. He established marriage. He taught us we are sinners and that a Savior would come to crush Satan (Gen 3:15). He chose the nation of Israel to be his people and to spread the gospel throughout the world. God gave us his laws to guide and protect us. He gave us the books of wisdom to teach us what is important. He gave us the psalms to teach us how to praise him. He have us the books of history to teach us how he would lead his people through the generations. He gave us prophets to teach us what is to come. Israel is not the Jews only but all who are grafted into Christ through faith in him and what he did for us on the cross. He gave us the gospels to teach us about the coming of our Savior, his life, death, and resurrection. He gave us Acts to explain how the gospel spread throughout the world. He gave us the epistles of Paul, Peter, and John to explain how the gospel applies to our lives. And he gave us Revelation to teach us how Jesus is coming again to judge the world, remove evil from the world, and establish his eternal kingdom on the new earth. I still read the Bible today the same way, because like Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Mat 4:4).
- The other thing God gave me was a compassion for people and their problems. He would show me people throughout my life who needed my help and how I could help them. That quality has stuck with me over the years, and I thank God for it. It is why I gave up my pastoral ministry to help one who would become my wife who was paralyzed. It was very costly to take care of her. Which is why, after she died, I am now a truck driver, to rebuild my finances so I can retire. Whatever sacrifice I made, it was worth it, and God who sustains the world is providing for me now. Did you know that is one of the names of God, Jehovah Jireh, which means God will provide, because he promised to provide the Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord. He promised this to Abraham, who God commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen 22:11-14). Abraham was about to do this, because he believed God would provide some kind of miracle, which he did, a ram caught in a thicket as a substitute for his son on the altar. This is what Jesus did for us. He is your substitute on the altar, so you do not have to die for your sins if you have faith in him.
- Now think about yourself. How has God shaped you over the years? Each person is unique, and the important thing is to realize God has been shaping and preparing you for today and the future. “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Just as God has created much variety in his creation, each of us is uniquely beautiful to him. You know when you love someone, you look beyond their physical appearance. You see what no one else sees. That is how God looks at us. He knows we are sinners, and even Christians struggle to overcome sin. But God sees our hearts. He sees the future. He sees how he is shaping you into the person he wants you to be, a person made to conform to the image of Christ. Join him in his work. He who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him (1Co 6:17).
- I would love to hear from you, how God is working in your life. If you have never participated in this ministry reach out to us and tell us how we can pray for you and what the Lord is doing in your life. May the Lord bless you richly today!