How is it possible for me to love you girls this much when I didn’t give birth to you I will never know. It's a wonder. It's nothing short of the glory of Jesus. He's so incredible with the way He tweaks our hearts...anyway. That's not the point... (Oh how I need attention medication.) You just needed to know how incredibly loved and MISSED oh my word MISSED by me you are before I share what’s on my mind. (When are small groups going to start back up? I want our table back!) Moving on...
You still there? I sure hope so...
My beloved car broke down today (Betsy) and I had to walk 2 miles. Y'all know that nearly killed me for two reasons...One, I'm out of shape. And two, I love Betsy and now I need to sell her because I don’t trust her. Again, not why I'm writing you. HOWEVER when I was doing all that walking I was thinking and talking to God...about you guessed it. YOU.
My morning devotional took me to the book of Ephesians. Indulge me please and read it. I picked The Message translation because I find it easiest to understand today. Tomorrow, who knows...maybe I will lean towards King James. (It could happen. Not likely though)
Stick with it girls...it's long. (The bold and underlines are my additions not the Bible.) Ready? Go.
The God of Glory
3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
(Did you read that girls? BEFORE He made the earth He had you in mind. BEFORE creation. Before He made one single thing He picked you to be the focus. Then what does it say His love makes us? Look up there at the verse...WHOLE. You are WHOLE. Lacking nothing. I have chills.)
7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
(Girls, don't miss that. People spend their entire life wrapped up in guilt from sin. Look... you are going to sin. We all do it. But God has set you FREE. He made a plan. Through the Cross...you can be abundantly free. Ask for forgiveness and move on! Don't you dare let someone tell you otherwise! You are forgiven and set FREE! No matter the sin!)
11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
(He has His eye on you. Long before you heard of Him...He was loving you.)
13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
(Stop questioning your salvation. Let's believe God on this! He said if you heard the truth and believed it...which all of you have...you are free. SEALED. You have his signet (mark) and it's a done deal! We don't need to rehash this!)
15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
Baby girls. YOU HAVE EVERYTHING IN JESUS CHRIST. Everything. Already! You don't need to search for one more second to find that one thing that you think will fulfill you. Can’t you hear the excitement in bursting off the page in that passage? "Utter extravagance" for those who trust Him! YES! I know you want that!
I don't know about you but this is one heck of a love letter. The living God of the universe picked you. You have been chosen. For a life full of LAVISH love.
I want so badly for you to know who you are. It changes everything for you. When you look in the mirror, you are looking at the image of God Himself...we have a rich heritage and you belong.
I love you madly...I'm praying for you by name today.
Oh GOD will you please make these girls intelligent and discerning in knowing you personally, clear their eyes of all else besides you so they can see without a doubt what You are calling them to do. Help them grasp the immensity of your love. Father let them be the generation of believers who know You better than anyone who has gone before us. Give them self confidence! Go before them and clear the way...I love you so much Jesus and I can’t thank you enough for creating these world changers.
I love you, I love you, I love you
(Make good choices this weekend. Be safe!) I couldn't help myself.