Monday, October 19, 2009

Abundant Joy: A Look Inside Me

"For you formed my inward parts, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14

Here again we see God's sovereignty displayed, only not in the vast comprehension of creating the universe and holding all things in His hand. No, this is an intimate picture of the God of the universe, "knitting me together in my mother's womb."

Read Luke 12:7, Psalm 39:4-5 and Isaiah 64:8
~ these verses portray so beautifully how intimately God knows each of us. They also show insight to the fact that before I even had the opportunity to know God intimately He knew me. I was under His care and watchful eye. this picture of God's sovereignty is so precious because it reveals the heart of love that God has for each of His treasured creations. Now, we are undeserving of this kind of love, and as we will read in Isaiah 43:1-7, God's love and protection has nothing to do with our merit. Answer the following questions based on the text:

What is God doing here for the Israelites? Why? Who is verse seven speaking of specifically? How do we outwardly mark ourselves as "authentic believers" or those called by His name? Do you think in the world today you can have an effect on others because of how you "set yourself apart?"

I once heard RC Sproul, Jr. says that so many of us make a point to align our doctrinal beliefs and views clearly by what God says in His word. We make sure to align ourselves by His steady plumb line on the heavy theological issues of today. But then we tend to rely on our own guiding compass when it comes to music, friends, clothing, activities and our home life. How can we honestly say we have "set apart" ourselves for the purposes of God if we are not living in such a way that shows the world, "I belong to a Holy God!"?

Read Psalm 139:16-18.
How many thoughts does God have about the details of my life? How much value do you personally place on God's opinion of your daily life?

How is God able to love us and see us as precious when we do not merit this kind of affection? One simple word: GRACE. J.I Packer defines grace in his book Knowing God as, "God's love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love."

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see.

It is not popular to look at oneself as "wretched" of "in need." But that is certainly what I am without Christ. On days when I have relied on my own guiding compass, I often display this kind of attitude or judgment on the things of my life. An honest "look inside me" should reveal a heart that is knit together by a Master not an amateur. God can fully be trusted with all of me, after all I am His original idea. I am created with a unique skill set, spiritual gift, heart and mind that when given freely to Him has potential I will never be able to realize on my own.

Have you fully surrendered all to God?
What does this personally look like to you?
Where do you need to make some adjustments so that God can be developing in you a heart that longs to solely please Him?
What does your heart long for that can only come from the hand of God?

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