VIDEO The Fingerprint of God

The Fingerprint of God

The Fingerprint of God

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Lygon Stevens loved to climb mountains with her brother Nick. They were experienced climbers and both had summitted Mt. McKinley (Denali), the highest point in North America. Then, in January 2008, they were swept off a Colorado mountain by an avalanche, injuring Nick and killing twenty-year-old Lygon. When Nick later discovered his sister’s journal in one of her satchels, he was deeply comforted by its contents. It was filled with reflections, prayers, and praise to God as seen in this entry: “I am a work of art, signed by God. But He’s not done; in fact, He has just begun. . . . I have on me the fingerprint of God. Never will there ever be another person like me. . . . I have a job to do in this life that no other can do.”

Although Lygon is no longer physically present on earth, through the legacy of her life and her journal she inspires and challenges those she left behind.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Ephesians 2:10

Because we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26), each person is a “work of art, signed by God.” As the apostle Paul says, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Praise God that He uses each of us, in His own time and way, to help others.

How would You like to use me, Lord? I am open and willing.

Each person is a unique expression of God’s loving design.

By Dennis Fisher 

INSIGHT

Genesis 1:26–27 says we were created in God’s image. Similarly, Genesis 5:1 and James 3:9 tell us we were made in His “likeness.” What does it mean to be made in God’s image? We were created with characteristics that set us apart from other creatures. We have the capacity to reason, to make moral choices, and to be in relationship with others. We also have the capacity to do good works, and Jesus set the precedent: He “went around doing good” (Acts 10:38). Ephesians 2:10 tells us we were not only created “to do good works” but “God prepared in advance” the good works we would do. Our task is to stay near to God (Hebrews 10:22), be alert for opportunities, and rely on the Spirit for strength and help.

Alyson Kieda


Steven Curtis Chapman – Fingerprints of God

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Furrows of Faith

Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?” Mark 8:17

When Jesus spoke of “hardened” hearts in this passage, He wasn’t referring to scribes, Pharisees, or Roman officials who bitterly opposed Him. Oh, their hearts were hardened too; but in Mark 8, He was speaking to His closest followers—the Twelve. Despite the miracles He performed and the instructions He gave, the truth about His power hadn’t sunk into their minds. Their hearts were like fields so dry and hard that the needed rain simply ran off without soaking into the soil. They had seen Jesus feed 5,000 in Mark 6, yet they didn’t know how He could feed 4,000 in Mark 8.

Healthy hearts soak up the water of the Word. They are furrowed by faith and tilled by trust. That’s the kind of heart the Lord desires. Don’t rebel or distrust Him. Hebrews 6:7 says, “When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing” (NLT).

When we thus forget the works of God, and distrust him, we should chide ourselves severely for it, as Christ doth his disciples here: “Am I thus without understanding! How is it that my heart is thus hardened?” Matthew Henry

Overcoming Giants

1 Samuel 17:31-52

The well-known story of David and Goliath teaches believers that obstacles in our life are no match for God. Whether our Goliath is a relational challenge or an overwhelming situation, we must realize that the Lord is sovereign over everything in heaven and on earth, and He has the power to give us the victory.

David had unshakeable trust because past experience had proven that God was faithful. The young shepherd recalled how the Lord gave him the victory on two separate occasions, when a lion and a bear threatened his flock (1 Sam. 17:37).

Our faith is bolstered in a similar way by remembering God’s provision in our own life and by reading about His faithfulness to men and women in the Bible. This is why it’s helpful to keep a record of God’s faithfulness. Then when facing a trial, we can look back at what we’ve journaled and be strengthened, knowing that God has proven trustworthy in the past.

Trusting in the Lord gives us the courage to face our giants. Being so armed, we can respond to challenges on the basis of three important truths:

• Who Christ is in us—our Savior and Provider. 
• Who we are in Christ—God’s adopted children, eternally secure and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. 
• What we have in Christ—the promise of access to almighty God.

Instead of fixing our attention on how big the obstacle is, let’s begin focusing on the greatness of our God. If we’ll trust and obey Him, His Spirit will equip us for the challenge, and our faith will glorify Him.

When Do You Pray

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

There is no set time to pray, for it is always appropriate. Our text tells us to “continue” in prayer, and this is the same word as in Romans 12:12, which urges us to be “instant in” prayer. In fact, the admonition of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is to “pray without ceasing.”

Children should pray, as did little Samuel. When the Lord called him, he could answer: “Speak; for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:10). Young people should pray, as Timothy, who was exhorted by Paul to make “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks . . . for all men” (1 Timothy 2:1). Adult men should pray, as did Paul himself, who could say to the Christians of Philippi that he was “always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy” (Philippians 1:4). Old men should pray, like Simeon, and old women, like Anna, who “served God with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:25, 36-37). And even dying men should pray, as did Stephen who, as he was being stoned to death, was also “calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59).

We can pray at dawn like David, who said: “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalm 5:3). In a Philippian prison, “at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God” (Acts 16:25). Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed” (Daniel 6:10). There is no time that is not a good time for prayer. One should pray in times of sorrow and also in times of joy, as did Hannah in both circumstances (1 Samuel 1:15; 2:1).

It is a most marvelous privilege that we have through Christ that we are able to speak to the infinite God in prayer and to know that He hears and cares. Therefore, pray! HMM

They went and told Jesus

Mark 6:14-29

The stir made by the mission of the twelve readied all classes of society.

Mark 6:14

Where there is an idle faith there is generally a busy imagination: Herod would not obey John’s religion, and yet became the slave of superstition. His conscience was not powerful enough to prevent his murdering the good man, yet it was not so dead as to allow him to rest in peace after the cruel deed.

Mark 6:15-18

This was faithful preaching. What is the good of a minister if he does not tell us our faults?

Mark 6:19, 20

Herod is a warning to us. He was not a mere hearer of John. He was an attentive and delighted hearer, and up to a certain point a doer of the word. Surely he bade fair for good things; and yet he became the murderer of the very man to whom he had listened with so much respect. If hearing the gospel does not change our nature, it has done little or nothing for us.

Mark 6:23

Probably he had become drunken while feasting, and so uttered the rash promise and confirmed it with an oath. When vice dances in the presence of drunkenness no good can come of it. This young girl danced off the prophet’s head: we have never read that any good at all proportionate to this evil ever came of dancing. For a child of God to join with the frivolous in their idle dances, would be as unbecoming as for an angel to wallow in the mire.

Mark 6:25

I will that thou give me by and by in a charger or a large dish

Mark 6:29

Or as another evangelist tells us, “they went and told Jesus,” which was the very best thing they could do. Happy are they who have learned to take all their trials to Jesus. Let us speak with him now in our prayer.

 

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare,

Jesus loves to answer prayer;

He himself has bid thee pray,

Therefore will not say thee nay.

 

With my burden I begin,

Lord, remove this load of sin;

Let thy blood, for sinners spilt,

Set my conscience free from guilt

 

Lord, I cast on thee my care,

Thou hast bid me leave it there;

For my heavenly Father knows

All my griefs, and wants, and woes.

 

Faith with Experience

O taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8)

I insist that the effective preaching of Jesus Christ, rightly understood, will produce Christian experience in Christian believers. Moreover, if preaching does not produce spiritual experience and maturing in the believer, that preaching is not being faithful to the Christ revealed in the Scriptures.

Let me say it again another way: the Christ of the Bible is not rightly known until there is an experience of Him within the believer, for our Savior and Lord offers Himself to human experience.

When Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,” it is an invitation to a spiritual experience. He is saying, “Will you consent to come? Have you added determination to your consent? Then come; come now!”

Yes, our Lord gives Himself to us in experience. David says in Psalm 34: “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” I think David said exactly what he meant.

Surely the Holy Spirit was saying through David: “You have taste buds in your soul for tasting, for experiencing spiritual things. Taste and experience that God is good!”

 

Let No Evil Remain

“And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers.” Deut. 13:17

Israel must conquer idolatrous cities, and destroy all the spoil, regarding all that had been polluted by idolatry as an accursed thing to be burned with fire. Now, sin of all sorts must be treated by Christians in the same manner. We must not allow a single evil habit to remain. It is now war to the knife with sins of all sorts and sizes, whether of the body, the mind, or the spirit. We do not look upon this giving up of evil as deserving mercy, but we regard it as a fruit of the grace of God, which we would on no account miss.

When God causes us to have no mercy on our sins, then He has great mercy on us. When we are angry with evil, God is no more angry with us. When we multiply our efforts against iniquity, the Lord multiplies our blessings. The way of peace, of growth, of safety, of joy in Christ Jesus, will be found by following out these words: “There shall nought of the cursed thing cleave to thine hand.” Lord, purify me this day. Compassion, prosperity, increase, and joy, will surely be given to those who put away sin with solemn resolution.

 

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