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One of the absolute best sounds in the world to me is my grandchildren’s laughter…the  laughter that comes from deep within their belly and just erupts through every fiber of their being. It’s the laughter that exemplifies their pure joy! There’s just nothing like it. Their joy brings me joy! When they’re happy, I’m happy. For any of you with children in your lives, I’m sure you totally get this concept. What we don’t get, so often, is that God loves when His children are happy and full of joy. I think we often believe that God isn’t really interested in whether or not we’ve had a good belly laugh lately or not. I think we miss the fact that God dotes on us as much as we dote on our little ones. I think the fact that God is head-over-heels in love with us has escaped us. But when we leave out these components of God, we miss out on who He really is…a Father who adores His children beyond measure.

Most of us have asked God “why” more times than we can count. When something doesn’t make sense or we can’t understand the reasons behind something, we want answers. We want things to fit neatly into the walls of our minds, and we don’t like anything to stretch those walls or go outside of their borders. We question what we don’t know and that’s okay! Asking God “why” doesn’t bother Him one bit. Asking God “why” doesn’t change Him, threaten Him, or make Him one iota less than who He is. Our questions don’t make God mad at us or cause Him to turn a deaf ear to us. We can ask all we want to; however, we may not receive an answer. God has never once promised us that we can know and understand everything…that’s His job. What He has promised us is that He will be with us through every single thing we ever go through. We don’t have to understand the situation to understand that God has it under control. We don’t have to know the reasons things are as they are, but we can know the One who does know the reasons. We don’t have to have all of the answers because we know the One who is the answer. Question Him all you want, but let your trust be greater than the answers you may or may not receive.

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

We talk a lot about what our purpose is in life, we wonder what our purpose in life is, we help other people find their purpose in life, and  there are countless books lining bookshelves everywhere written about our purpose in life, but have you ever stopped to think about what God’s purpose is in your life? We may think His purpose is to rule us with an iron fist, but that’s not it. We may think His purpose is to keep us from having any kind of fun whatsoever, but that’s not it. We may think His purpose is to lay down stringent rules that we will never be able to follow and then turn His back on us when we fail, but that’s not it. God’s purpose in our lives is to reveal Himself to us in order that we can intimately know Him, have a deep love for Him, and experience life beyond our wildest imagination. God created us in His image so we could catch a glimpse of who He is in ourselves and in others. He desperately wants a personal relationship with us. That is His highest priority! He spends every moment of every day of our lives pursuing us! He never stops for it is His one purpose and nothing distracts God from His purpose. We are at the forefront of His mind 7 days per week, 24 hours per day. Take a look in the mirror…see the person looking back at you? That person is God’s number one purpose in His life!

“God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

Adam Brown was a Navy Seal who was killed on a mission in 2010. Members of Adam’s team say that he put himself in the line of fire in order to protect some comrades who were pinned down and otherwise, wouldn’t have been able to escape. At his funeral, one of his teammates had this to say about Adam:

“…the only time he ever surrendered was to Jesus Christ…”

As I heard this part of Adam’s story, I couldn’t help but think what an awesome testimony of this young man’s life. Adam got it right…he didn’t surrender to his circumstances, his battles, his problems, his weaknesses, his failures,  or his obstacles…he only surrendered to the One who could overcome all of those things! If only the same could be said of all of us!

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

My one year old grandson is fascinated with pointing at any and everything these days! He usually points and says, “that” in reference to whatever he’s pointing at, but when he points at a light, he says, “light”. Of course we shower him with praise for saying the right word and he gives us a big smile. A few days ago, it seemed as if he was a broken record because he continually pointed out lights to us and told us “light, light, light.” About the fiftieth time he pointed to the light over the dining room table, it hit me that what this sweet boy was doing was symbolic of what God divinely created him to do – he is pointing people to an earthly light right now, but he has been created to point others to the one true Light! Right then I thanked God for my precious boy, and I prayed that he would always be a person who pointes out the Light to others. Now, every time he points to the light, I’m going to use it as a reminder to pray for him to continue to point others to Christ, as well as a reminder that I should be doing that as well!

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world.” John 8:12

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Last night my husband and I saw a production about Moses. It was held at the Sight and Sounds Theater in Branson, Missouri, and I highly recommend anyone who has the opportunity to see it to do so. As I thought about the production, I just marveled at how God worked the details of Moses’ life to lead him exactly to where God needed him to be. There had to be so many times that Moses had to look at his life and wonder where he went wrong. He had to wonder why in the world God had even bothered to spare his life as a baby. You may be much like Moses and look at your life and wonder why God even bothered with you. You may not possibly be able to see how the disaster of a life you have could ever possibly be of any use to God. You may think that you have completely ruined any chance you had of doing what God called you to do. But that’s the beauty of God! Our failures, our weaknesses, our disasters, our running as far away in the wilderness as we can…none of it can stop God from accomplishing in you what He set out to accomplish.  It took some time and a whole lot of excuses, but Moses finally got it and so will you! Just give God time and He will destroy every excuse you have and the only choice you will be left with is to do what God called you to do…and it will be the best choice you have ever made.

 

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Last night, my husband and I saw “The Passion Play” in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The play is performed in an outdoor theater at night, so the clarity of the picture is not the best, but is a very powerful one. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the  message this picture sends is invaluable. This is the depiction of the stone being rolled away and Jesus standing at the entrance of the tomb having conquered death and the grave. He has rendered Satan defeated and powerless before Him. You cannot see Jesus on this picture because of all of the bright lights around Him, but you can see the shadow of someone in the forefront of the picture.  This is Satan fleeing from the presence of Jesus! He could not stay and face Him because he knows that he has no choice but to fall at His feet in defeat! That hasn’t changed and never will! Satan CANNOT be in the presence of Jesus – he has no choice but to flee. It doesn’t matter if he has just dropped in your life for a visit or has taken up seemingly permanent residence in your life, you do not have to let him stay. Call on the name of Jesus and cling to Him as if your life depends on it (it does by the way), and you will see Satan gather his belongings and run like the coward he is.

“Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

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