I have been asking God "what is my message?" and he answered with this:
Eph 3:20-21 (NIV) "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen"
What does that mean? How is that my message?
That phrase says it all - "to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine". Let that sink in. Able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. The Good News Translation says "able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of"
I don't know about you, but I can think of a lot! Yet we are told that Jesus can do more than we can ever ask for or even think of! That's amazing!
Why would that be my message? Because I am an eye-witness to this truth. When I got sick in 2010 and wasn't expected to survive, there were people all over the world praying for me to survive that devastating illness. I had been diagnosed with a double-whammy of encephalitis and sepsis. Either illness can kill or leave a person permanently disabled.
As people prayed, they asked for my survival - but God, who is able to do immeasurably more than we ever ask for or even think of, did so much more! I know that, as I lingered in a coma, I was somewhere in that space between life and death. The doctors didn't think I was going to make it. My test results weren't giving them any reason to think I would make it.
"Immeasurably more than we can ever ask for or even think of".
There were dangers that I was unaware or, or at least unaware of just how much danger there was, for me in Gaza. I believe that God used this illness as a means of escape and then restored me to full health - physically and mentally.
It wasn't God's will for me to be harmed in Gaza at the hands of the his enemies nor was it his will for me to die from a devastating illness.
Have faith when you pray - and be bold. Whatever you ask for or even think of, know that God is able to do immeasurably more!
I listened to a sermon this morning that was exactly what I needed.
For a long time I have been plagued with doubts and insecurities over the mistakes I have made in my life. Some of my mistakes have been of little consequence but some of them have been doozies.
How could God still use me and even want me after what I've done? This morning, my wifi was finally working well enough to listen to a sermon by Dr. Erwin Lutzer of the Moody Bible Church in Chicago. He spoke about the fact that our mistakes do not render us beyond God's reach and use - AND BLESSINGS!!
As I lay in bed and listened and reflected on the message, I found hope returning to my heart and mind. God has used and blessed SO many who have gone before me who have also made colossal mistakes!
He is not deterred by our human frailty. That is not to say that there are no consequences that we must live with due to some of the mistakes we make but God is able to weave them into our story and still make make a way for us to be a blessing!
If you haven't heard of Dr. Lutzer, I encourage you to look him up. I first heard him when I was about 12 or 14 years old at a youth conference in Ontario. It was then that I heard of his book called "Failure: the backdoor to success". What a profound message of hope that book is!!
He is a prolific writer and has a strong message of grace and hope that is so desperately needed for those of us who find ourselves seeming much more imperfect than others.
We can find so much comfort in the fact that God used David for great things - even being in the human lineage of Jesus! And that was after David committed adultery and murder. He repented and God restored him.
My own mistakes are no less devastating than David's and so I can believe that if God went on to use David to be such a blessing, then I am not too far gone to be used greatly by God as well.
The grace of God is deeper, wider and more profound than we could ever imagine.
Take heart, my friend. as one who has been saved by the precious blood of Jesus, God has promised that you will always be held in His hands and never ever be discarded, even though the world may discard us. God takes us by the hand and lifts us to our feet again and calls us His own.