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God's Poem

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John Anderson
Highlands Elder

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. - Ephesians 2:10

Some would say that the highest achievement  of man is his ability to view and make sense of the world through poetry - the ability to express complex realities with beautiful phrasing and organization - to rise above the intellectual and communicate directly to the heart - to express a thought that transcends the words and nourishes the soul.

Our verse calls us ‘His workmanship’, but the translation requires us to know more; That  we are God’s poem, the pinnacle of God’s creation - creation in His own image with the Spiritual capacity to be in relationship with Him, and yet a humble servant who serves the Creator as well as the created out of love rather than duty.  How humbling it is that God has set before us the desires of His heart, and empowers us by His Holy Spirit to discern and accomplish these desires to His own glory.

Do you comprehend that you are in or have been in the days of preparation for a calling that is uniquely yours?  Do you view your preparation as God’s work to enable you to be an instrument of His love?

Is the preparation you are receiving so difficult that you have trouble believing that God’s hand is in it at all?  Are you suffering?  There is a song lyric that says:  “When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart”.  Another inspired individual, the Apostle Paul, said “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). As believers, we can love God through the trials and turmoil, knowing that at the end, we will be uniquely qualified to do some good work that needs to be done - perhaps giving Godly counsel to someone experiencing the ravages you yourself just endured and now sorely needs your wisdom and witness.

Good works are in perpetual need which is why our preparation is in perpetual development.  Events and conditions may arise that shock and surprise us, but are not a surprise to God - He knew them beforehand.  He puts you in a place where your service is critical - where you can pour out your love which is His love, to the desperate, to the unloved and even the unlovable.  

When the people of Israel were in a desperate situation, soon to be annihilated by the order of the evil nobleman, Haman, God prepared Esther “for such a time as this”.    The Jews to this day celebrate "Purim" to give thanks for the good work that Esther did with King Xerxes.  (Esther 2:17; 3:6; 4: 7-8,15-16; 7:3-4; 9:20-22, 28)

We Christians celebrate the fact that the Jews survived to bring forth the Savior who is Christ the Lord.  God’s hand was in Esther’s preparation, enabling a result that was far above even the imagination of the unlikely Queen Esther who went before the king without being summoned knowing that her boldness could be fatal. Could your own small, but bold, good work save a person, or an organization, or a country?

Many of us wonder, what is it for which we are being prepared?  How do we know?  

We are surrounded by the need for “good works”.  Where do we begin?  How long does one wait?  Do we wear our faith on our shirtsleeve, or with a visible symbol of the cross around our necks and take every opportunity for an act of kindness?  Why not?

Bartimaeus was blind, but when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he called out to Him and would not be silenced.  When Jesus heard, He called Bartimaeus to Him and asked “What do you want me to do for you?”  The blind man said, “Rabbi. I want to see.  “Go”, said Jesus, “your faith has healed you”.  Immediately, he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:51-52).

If we are blind to the good works that God has prepared for us beforehand, we can be like Bartimaeus and call out in faith to Jesus that we might see the vision of the desires of God’s heart into which He wills us to pour our own heart.  

Pray for the vision to see what God is doing, and join in!

Prayer: Dear God who calls me from above, to act in service out of love, Praise and thanks I give to You, for all I’m called to say and do. Lord by Your Spirit let me know where I should be and act and go.   Amen.

Posted by John Anderson with

Trinity Unity

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Hannah Branstiter
Senior High Student

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. - 2 Corinthians 13:14

Moving from Illinois at 11 and having no family or friends in Arizona was very difficult. Thankfully I found a community to encourage me to grow in my faith and to help me understand about the Trinity of God.  As I walk through the various seasons of life, I have peace knowing that God has given me the generous gift of the Holy Spirit.  He is with me. Each day must begin with full surrender and willingness to do what God is calling me to do.

Paul shines light on The Trinity in this verse. He shares with the church in Corinth that they are to put aside conflicts and disagreements and find common ground.  This can only be possible when we understand what the Trinity provides – grace, love and fellowship.

This is only possible due to the commonality we share within the Trinity – Jesus, God our Father and our Helper, the Holy Spirit. When you think about The Trinity, what comes to mind? Do you find yourself in awe of God’s goodness and his righteousness? The Trinity is essential in a believer’s life. Our lives should reflect The Trinity and the grace, love and fellowship that are given to us through them. Paul prays that believers will remember to love one another so they are able to share the hope of Christ.

John 3:16 reminds us that God loved the world SO much that he was willing to give up his only son to die for our sins. He sent Jesus to earth to save the lost. To save the souls of those who would put their faith and trust in Him. Paul talks about the Helper he leaves behind. When Jesus descended back into heaven he left his people with the Holy Spirit. Because of the Spirit we are able to have a personal relationship with God. When we think of God and what He has done for us, it should bring us to our knees. Knowing that He sent His only Son to die on a cross for our sins and then left us with a helper causes me to be overwhelmed with gratitude.

Because I am a new creation and set apart, my life should reflect these truths. The life we model should look different from the world’s way. When conflicts arise, the world will tell you to do what makes you feel best. The world says that our personal interest and feelings matter more than anything. But Paul reminds us that because of the common ground we share as believers we must strive for unity.

God desires forgiveness amongst His children therefore we should too. Our time of fellowship should be edifying and uplifting. While this can be difficult to pursue, I am thankful to have the Holy Spirit to help guide me in my relationships with others. Having a community who loves the Lord reminds me that we are fighting the good fight together until He calls us home.

  1. How have you experienced the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life?
  2. When conflict occurs, what is your default? Do you find yourself striving for unity and forgiveness?
  3. Reflect on the Trinity. What does it mean to you? How does it change the way you live your life?

Prayer: God, we come to you with hearts full of praise. We thank you for sending your son to die in our place. We thank you for giving us a helper. Lord, we pray that you would continue to convict us where we need convicting and remove our sinful desires to pursue a life that is glorifying to you even when it is hard. I pray that we can fix our eyes on you and strive for unity. 

Posted by Hannah Branstiter with

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