VIDEO The Jeweler

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Isaiah 40:28-29

She would not be voted most likely to create a viral video. And yet, at 92 years old Wanda B. Goines’ YouTube video of her poem “The Gift Wrap and the Jewel” has been viewed more than 500,000 times. Dwarfed by a large armchair, she compares her body to gift wrap that fades and becomes wrinkled. Our bodies hold the imprint of what we have lived through; tears and laughter carve permanent lines.

Wanda reminds viewers that eventually our gift wrap will be discarded and to focus on the jewel inside, our souls, because our souls have the potential to reflect God’s glory for all eternity. In this analogy God is a jeweler. Our souls are safe in His hands. He has promised that nothing can pull or separate us from His love. When we accept God’s invitation to be the keeper of our soul, He begins His work: carefully polishing and shining up our souls. As we surrender our souls to Him and learn to hear His voice, we experience deeper peace and purpose.

If we are going to learn to trust God in adversity, we must believe that just as certainly as God will allow nothing to subvert His glory, so He will allow nothing to spoil the good He is working out in us and for us. Jerry Bridges

Recommended Reading: Psalm 121

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Pay Back Time

man at park
A must READ

Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on the ground.

The man slowly looked up.

This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life….

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.. “Leave me alone,” he growled….

To his amazement, the woman continued standing.

She was smiling — her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. “Are you hungry?” she asked.

“No,” he answered sarcastically. “I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.”

The woman’s smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

“What are you doing, lady?” the man asked angrily. “I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. “Is there any problem, ma’am?” he asked..

“No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer scratched his head. “That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

“See that cafeteria over there?” she asked. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.”

“Are you crazy, lady?” the homeless man resisted. “I don’t want to go in there!” Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. “Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything.”

“This is a good deal for you, Jack” the officer answered. “Don’t blow it..”

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived…

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. “What’s going on here, officer?” he asked. “What is all this, is this man in trouble?”

“This lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“Not in here!” the manager replied angrily. “Having a person like that here is bad for business..”

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. “See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place.”

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled……. “Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?”

“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”

“And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?”

“What business is that of yours?”

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.”

“Oh.”

The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.” She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?”

“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”

“Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice.”

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.”

The officer watched him walk away. “You certainly put him in his place,” he said.

“That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.. “Jack, do you remember me?”

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. “I think so — I mean you do look familiar.”

“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”

“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.”

Jack lit up with a smile. “Now I remember,” he said.. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble… Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right.”

“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.

“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.” She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. “When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons…He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.” She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet… If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.”

There were tears in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he said.

“Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus…… He led me to you.”

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways….

“Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.

“On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And.. And thank you for the coffee.”

God is going to shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor.

If you believe, send it.

If you don’t believe, delete it.

God closes doors no man can open and God opens doors no man can close..

If you need God to open some doors for you…send this on.

The Positive Power of Courage

Joshua 1:1-9

What do the following people have in common: Joshua, the Israelite leader; Daniel, the visionary; Jesus’ 12 disciples; and the apostle Paul? Besides loving and following God, they all were in need of courage. Obeying the Lord requires bravery—a firmness of spirit that can face crises without retreating.

Appointed by God, Joshua was called to lead the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. Perhaps he thought, Who am I to follow in Moses’ footsteps? or What if the people will not support my leadership? God spoke reassuringly to him three times, telling him to be strong and courageous.

Joshua responded with faith and based his bravery on two precious assurances from his Father.

Promise #1—God travels with us. The Lord pledged that He would be with the Israelites in the new land, never leaving or forsaking them. In Hebrews 13:5, He makes the same promise to us. In fact, the Lord travels with us in a far more intimate way—through His Spirit living within us.

Promise #2—God goes before us. God promised to take care of the enemy before the Israelites arrived. They still faced battles, but He assured them of victory if they had faith and obeyed Him. Through Jesus, our spiritual battle is already won. Our redemption has been eternally secured, our place in God’s family permanently established, and our heavenly inheritance guaranteed. While our earthly trials will continue, we must remember that they’re temporary.

If you build your life on these two pledges, then courageous will become part of your name. Why not try out how it will sound? Courageous _______________.

The Wonderful Angel

“And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?” (Judges 13:18)

This intriguing encounter occurred during one of Israel’s periods of apostasy and servitude, when the people had been ruled for 40 years by the pagan Philistines. There was one godly couple in the tribe of Dan, however, who evidently had long been praying for a son, and God finally answered their prayers. “The angel of the LORD” came to give the good news to Manoah and his wife. The remarkable son who was to come was mighty Samson, who later would free his people.

But it is the Angel Himself who is most intriguing here. His name was “Secret,” meaning “too marvelous even to comprehend.” The same word is translated “Wonderful” in Isaiah 9:6, where it is cited as a name of the coming divine Son, whose name would also be “mighty God” and “everlasting Father.”

This “angel of the LORD” was thus none other than God the Son in one of His rare pre-incarnate appearances, or theophanies, when the invisible God manifested Himself visibly to man. There are many created angels (Hebrews 12:22), or “messengers,” of God, but on certain occasions, this One who is called “the angel of the LORD” (also “the angel of his presence,” as in Isaiah 63:9, and “the Angel which redeemed me,” as in Genesis 48:16), is clearly none other than God Himself. In such cases, it could only have been the pre-incarnate Christ, for the Bible says: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18).

God had already revealed Himself in this way to great men of God, and now even to an unknown couple. Eventually this Angel, whose name is Wonderful, “was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), and will one day dwell with His people forever (Revelation 21:3). HMM

A Living Person Is Present

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. —Hebrews 11:6

A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Always a living Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working and manifesting Himself whenever and wherever His people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestation….

But why do the very ransomed children of God themselves know so little of that habitual, conscious communion with God which Scripture offers? The answer is because of our chronic unbelief. Faith enables our spiritual sense to function. Where faith is defective the result will be inward insensibility and numbness toward spiritual things. This is the condition of vast numbers of Christians today. No proof is necessary to support that statement. We have but to converse with the first Christian we meet or enter the first church we find open to acquire all the proof we need.

A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.

Lord, give me faith to believe, to see, to know Your awesome Presence and bring Your spiritual kingdom alive in my life. Amen.

God Is All Sufficient

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:10)

Have we modern men and women never given thought or meditation concerning the eternal nature of God? Who are we to imagine that we are “bailing out” the living God when we drop a $10 bill in the Sunday offering plate?

Let us thank God for the reality of His causeless existence. Our God only is all sufficient, uncreated, unborn, the living and eternal and self-existent God!

I refer often to the great worshiping heart of Frederick William Faber, who in these words celebrated his vision of God’s eternal self-existence:

Father! the sweetest, dearest Name,
That men or angels know!
Fountain of life, that had no fount
From which itself could flow.

Thy vastness is not young or old,
Thy life hath never grown;
No time can measure out Thy days,
No space can make Thy throne!

Oh! it must have been sweet to have lived with Christ

Oh! it must have been sweet to have lived with Christ. Surely, sorrows were then but joys in masks, because they gave an opportunity to go to Jesus to have them removed. Oh! would to God, some of us may say, that we could have lain our weary heads upon the bosom of Jesus, and that our birth had been in that happy era, when we might have heard His kind voice, when he said, “Let the weary ones come unto me.” But hear how kindly Jesus speaks: “I will not leave you comfortless, for I will pray the Father, and He will send you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.”