Monthly Archives: February 2019

Layer Upon Layer?

I read in my devotions this morning from Anne Graham Lotz’s book Fixing My Eyes on Jesus.  The focus verse was from Romans 8:1-2 – Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

I pondered on that for a moment before reading on.  I wondered about my own life and realized that as a person, God created me for a specific purpose, in this particular time and place in the world.  However, due to my own preconceived notions of who I should be, along with the preconceived notions of who and what others think I should be, I seem to have added layers upon the original creation of ME.

Have you ever seen those transparent layers that cartoon artists lay over their initial drawing?  The artist adds layer upon layer of  the character in a slightly different pose on each transparent sheet.  When transferred to paper they flip through their “book” of layers and it appears as if the character is moving.

I wondered about the layers of my own character.  Do I place a layer of sweet and kind over what may actually be grumpy and unkind?  Do I place a layer of patience over a layer of impatience?  Do I place a layer of godliness over a layer of ill-will and wickedness?  I sure hope and pray I do not.  But it all made me more aware of who I am in Christ and what I am supposed to look like – no layers – just the fruit of the Holy Spirit living within me because I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, a very long time ago.

So, if I have layers I pray they are transparent layers of those fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23

Love                    Patience                Faithfulness
Joy                       Kindness               Gentleness
Peace                   Goodness              Self-Control

I want to be exactly what God created me to be, no more, no less.

Have a blessed Day!
Ava Z

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“Lazarus Come Forth”

Do you know that God created you for a specific purpose?  We read in Genesis 1:27-31 that God intended for man and woman to DO something:

27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

When an artist creates a painting or sculpture it is created with a purpose in mind.  Maybe it is to hang in an art gallery, or hold a place of prominence at the entrance of a park, but it has a specific purpose.

When an architect puts pencil to drafting paper and plans a building, it is with a specific purpose in mind.  The architect wants to convey everything that will be needed in order for the structure to be properly built.  Foundation, plumbing and electrical lines, walls, windows, nails, joints, dividers; everything necessary to make a building possible are considered and planned in advance.

When I sit down to knit my grandchild a sweater, I first decide what material the project will require.  I select a pattern to follow; I find just the right texture and color of yarn and determine the quantity needed to complete the project.  I review the pattern before I begin to see if there are any instructions I do not understand and I try to figure it out.  If I am still unsure, I search for help on my computer or I call my sister who is a master knitter!  And THEN I begin my project.

Just as we create, draw, knit, build, sculpt, manufacture, plant, paint or prepare something into existence for a specific purpose, so did God when He created man and woman – for a specific purpose.

Yes, YOU have a specific purpose!

I am writing these words on what appears to be paper from my computer for a specific purpose in mind.  I have a particular message to convey to you.  I am building my creation with the hope that you will read it, understand it, and use it to enhance God’s creation – that one thing that God had in mind when He created you.

I was driving to work yesterday, minding my own business, and suddenly a thought popped into my head.  There was a sermon on the radio and the name Lazarus was the subject.  My brain took that name and created a word-picture of the scripture from John 11:43-44.  I came to the part, in my reverie and in the story, where Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth!”  And I could almost hear and see the scene before me as I continued on my route to work.

Just as Jesus called Lazarus out of a tomb of death and destruction, He is calling you and me.  He is speaking our name and calling us forth from a life without Him to a life with a specific purpose in mind; to complete the creation God began in us.

Just as He stood there and saw Lazarus emerge from his tomb of death, ”The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.”  John 11:44, Jesus sees you and me, wrapped in our “grave clothes” of doubt, fear, anger, self-absorption, self-consciousness, and hate – and He is telling us to take off the grave clothes.  Put aside the stinking wrappings of sin and put on a new robe of righteousness that we receive when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Jesus is saying to you, “Come forth!”  Will you answer His call today?

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