God’s Masterpiece

God's Masterpiece

I want to speak about being God’s masterpiece today.  In our sermon from last night’s church service, I was blessed by the reminder that we are the masterpiece of God.  Each of us have the opportunity to allow God to mold us in such a way that we would be a work that would testify to His glory.

The Scripture used was Jeremiah 18 where God speaks to him about the potter and the clay.  The potter must possess the clay or have it in his hands in order to mold the shape and transform it into a work of art.  We must surrender to God in order for Him to transform us.  We have this awesome opportunity to become God’s precious work that will be completed upon Jesus’s return.  Or, we can refuse to surrender and become an unfinished work.  I pray for the body of believers and any new believers the following Scripture: Philippians 1:6 – “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (NLT)

Read Jeremiah 18 for further insight on the potter and the clay.

Sandra R. Vercellono

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Copyright © 1965, 2004.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189.

Exalting the Lord

This devotion was spent pondering the word exalt.  The definition includes to glorify; to praise; to elevate in rank,honor, power, character, and quality.  I looked into elevate, meaning to raise up; which is archaic or rare.  I want to use that definition today.  We need to raise up the Lord.  I realize that the Lord already sits on the right hand of the Father, elevated to that position by God Himself.  We can, however, elevate or exalt the Lord in our lives.  By our conversation and our behavior, we can exalt the Lord, the world or the enemy.  Psalm 21:13 – “Rise up, O Lord, in all your power.  With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.” (NLT)  With music and singing, we celebrate.  How often do we truly understand the element of music in our worship to the Lord?  We can exalt the Lord by singing and making melody in our hearts to Him.  How can we do that except our minds are stayed on Him? Our minds being fixed on who He is and all that He has done for us. (NLT) Psalm 57:11 – “Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.  May your glory shine over all the earth.”  As bright as the stars are and as far in the heavens as they reside, how much more is the glory of God? The Word says that God would make the rocks cry out if there was none to worship Him.  He is exalted simply as our Creator. (NLT) Psalm 99:5 – “Exalt the Lord our God! Bow low before His feet, for He is holy!”  I think about the word exalt and the meaning to glorify, to praise, and to elevate.  This should be daily practice.  We surrender ourselves to much less worthy things.  Can our Lord get the glory and praise that’s due Him for His precious sacrifice?  We should declare to make praise a daily exercise as part of our worship.  When we do, we open the door for more of the Lord’s transforming power.  When the praises go up, the blessings come down.  (NLT)

Sandra R. Vercellono Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible New Living Translation, Copyright © 1965, 2004.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189.

Faith that Grows

Devotion – John 4:46-54 (NLT)

Faith is a gift that grows as we use it.  How do we recognize if we are walking in faith?  We say we believe, but our actions of anxiety do not portray the faith we say we have. (Phil. 4:6 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you  need, and thank Him for all He has done.”  Do we believe God enough (the faith of a mustard seed) to “prepare our field for rain”  or to “move the mountain?”  (Matt. 17:20 – “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard see, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move.  Nothing would be impossible.”)

This devotion speaks about the father who believed Jesus for his son’s healing. Before he even made it home, his son was healed because of his trust in the words that Jesus spoke to him.  Verse 50 says “Then Jesus told him, ‘Go back home.  Your son will live.” How much do we believe Jesus for our children’s healing?  I believe that because there is so much emotional disorder in our society today, our children are suffering in such a major way.  Do we really believe Jesus for their healing?

As I walk through my own journey of emotional disorder in my family, I must say there are days I am challenged. But as I write today, I am challenged to stand on the Word of God; to practice this faith I have in reality.  As this father did, trust in the Words of Jesus.  We mature or grow in this walk of faith as we  practice it, trusting and praising.

Praises are evidence of trust.  Why?  Because praise reveals confidence, hope, believing that God is not only willing but able to meet our every need.  He is worthy to be praised!

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible New Living Translation, copyright  1965, 2004.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189.

Grace

Nature's Beauty

Today as I read passages for my devotional, this word jumped out at me, grace.  I have been reading from the Amplified Bible and really enjoy it.  Why?  Because the definitions or meaning of the words are right there for your thought process.  I really like the definition of grace.  The passage of Scripture is Luke 1:26-33. The verse I was focused on was Luke 1:30: “And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace (free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving kindness) with God.”  How awesome is that? (King James Version / Amplified Bible Parallel Edition, Zondervan, Copyright 1995)

Free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving kindness with God.  I was awed by this description of grace.  The word absolute is the adjective that wows me in this definition.  Absolute to me is complete, whole, nothing lacking or changing.  Trying to grasp that kind of favor is beyond me.  One definition from The American College Dictionary says free from imperfection.  God’s grace is so awesome.  It has everything we need to cause us to  live our daily lives in Him.  Free from imperfection is a state that can be only attained through God.  Jesus attained that grace for us because He was the perfect blood sacrifice.  We have so much to be thankful for and to worship God for.  The concept of God preparing a way for us to reconcile with Him because He knew us and in that process gives us an awesome picture of who He is.  We can do nothing but worship our Creator.

Mercy, Kindness, and Truth

The camera doesn't lie, we alter the images....

My Devotional today was from Proverbs 3:1-35. Reading from the Amplified Bible, there were several Scriptures that stood out for me.  The one I’ll elaborate on is Proverbs 3:3 – “Let not mercy and kindness (shutting out all hatred and selfishness) and truth (shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood) forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart.”

Mercy, kindness, and truth; these three elements are foundational to our walk of faith.  Mercy is compassion for another.  Our measure of having mercy towards our fellowman can’t even come close the mercy that God has for us.  Giving up His only Son so that we could be reconciled to Him when He knew beforehand that we would fall short.  However, because of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can allow His Spirit and His Word to guide and direct us.  His Word is the standard for us to gauge our daily lives.  This walk isn’t easy; but it isn’t impossible either because God provided us with what is needed to live our lives with compassion.  His example is Jesus, who even had compassion on those who crucified Him.

Hatred and selfishness; what subjects of heated discussion.  My thought here is that as we allow God ‘s Word and Spirit to transform us, these feelings that can seem to control us at times are not more than what God can and will do in us.  “Shutting out all hypocrisy and falsehood” denotes action on our part as well.  The Scriptures specifically call us to action.  You know when you’re being hypocritical and living a lie.  And, just to reiterate, you know in your heart of hearts whether you’re being hypocritical.  Live the truth.

Daily reading of the Word of God will most definitely make us examine ourselves.  Hebrews 4:12 – “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power (making it active, operative, energizing, and effective; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.”  After examination of ourselves, then we make a choice to be obedient.

Sandra R. Vercellono

[King James Version / Amplified Holy Bible, Parallel Bible, Zondervan, © 1995]

Family Dynamics

Images of Life

My son has been put on a new medicine that has made a tremendous difference.  Since the last post, he has come some distance from the emotional place he was at.  He still deals with depression; however, daily conversations with him help to let him know I’m here for him.  I remind him that he’s not alone and even when our emotions sometimes take control, we can come back to a place of sharing.  One area that I’m challenged in is listening.  We can hear someone speak to us but are we listening to what they are really saying?  I have to admit that I fall short sometimes.  There are times when I am quick to respond even though I do understand what he’s saying because I may not agree with it or be okay with it.  I have to steady myself and listen until he’s finished saying what he needs to say.  Sometimes I don’t think it’s about whether I agree or not but more about being able to unburden your heart to someone who cares.  That’s not just for him, but all the members of my family.  I think our “emotions” validate us in such a serious way.  I “feel” says I’m alive, whether I’m happy, sad, in pain or joyous. God gave us emotions as tools to balance our lives.  “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”  (Ephesians 4:26) (The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, 1982, King James Version).  The point is that our emotions are not supposed to control us.  They may validate us but only in the scope that they help define us when we respond to external and internal stimuli. Our emotions show us what needs to change in our inner selves.  The reason emotions are so important is that the compassion we are supposed to have for our fellow-man would not be possible if we didn’t have emotions.  We just need to have a healthy handle on them.