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Posts Tagged ‘Kingdom’

Cyrus the Great of Persia

Surely the HR director in Heaven has a list of qualifications for those who will serve in Kingdom work.  I can’t imagine that it doesn’t include some high standards:

Holy.  (1Peter 1:16)

Humble.  (Ephesians 4:20)

Contrite. (Psalm 51:17)

Serving (Mark 10:43)

Loving (John 13:34-35)

Oh dear.  These requirements seem impossible, and there are many more.  To say nothing of being actually qualified to do the work.

And yet, I have seen God use people—even in amazing ways—who in no way measure up to these standards.

I remember observing the leaders in a ministry I was briefly acquainted with.  It was obvious that God was willing to use them to bring real change to the lives of those entrusted to them.  And yet there were character flaws that it seemed to me should have disqualified them.  They were clearly inadequate and unworthy.

Then I read these amazing verses:  “(I)who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid….” This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him… I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me.  I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me….” (Isaiah 44:28; 45 1,4-5)

Cyrus, a pagan king, who does not acknowledge God, is called God’s shepherd and anointed, and in other translations, His servant.  He was given a holy task to subdue the surrounding nations and to rebuild the temple.

Amazing!  God must be willing to use anyone!

Oh yes.  He has even been willing to use me.  And though, gratefully, God has been faithful to grow me into greater Christlikeness, so that some of those qualifications listed above are sometimes a little evident in my life, I still marvel that He would/could ever use me.

I am clearly inadequate and unworthy for Kingdom work.

But that’s the wonder of it.  God doesn’t wait until we are qualified, or adequate, or worthy.  He pours His grace on us and His Holy Spirit into us—and accomplishes more than we can ask or imagine in building His Kingdom.

Through me.  Through you!

And I?  I am on my face in gratitude.

What about you?  How has He used you by His grace and His Spirit?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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I’ve been on earth a long time and in ministry a long time.  After graduation,  I was single for 9 years and married without children for 5 years.  I have been a mom for 30 years, and now all 3 of my children are married and I have 4 grandchildren.

 

Hopefully I’ve learned a few things in those years and through those experiences.  So let me share a few of the truths that have sunk in fairly well, in no particular order:

 

1. God is crazy in love with me.

Amazing, I know!  I never get over it.  He pursues me, desires to be with me, pours extravagant love all over me.  This is wonderful to remember at so many different times—when I don’t feel loved, when I haven’t loved someone well, or have not obeyed….

 

2. God remembers that I am dust.

He knows how weak and sinful I am.  He is not surprised when I blow it.  He loves to extend mercy.  He even says He gets more glory because I am so dusty.

 

3. God’s plan is always better than mine.

Always.  This has been one of the hardest things for me to absorb—I always seem to think my plan is best.  I advise God regularly.  He listens patiently, then reminds me again that He has a better way.  We can try my way first, then always have to return to His way.  Or we can do it His way first—a much better option.

 

 

4. God has made me the way I am so I can do what He created me to do.

He has invited me to be on His Kingdom building team—ME!  I can’t build anything, make anything, draw anything.  But He gave me words to use for my part in His grand endeavor.

 

5. One of God’s favorite words is “wait.”

Not my favorite at all.  I want it now.  I want it my way.  So God often has me in “the waiting room.”   You see, it’s there that I learn more of what God is like—and what I am like.  I discover what it means to persevere.  It was in the waiting room that Isaiah 60:22 came alive:  “I am the Lord.  In its time I will do this swiftly.”

 

6. Two more favorite words of God’s, these for me to say:  “Thank You.”

He was serious when He told us to give thanks in everything.  When I choose to say thank you, about things I hate, or am hurt by, or confused by, I express to God that I believe that He is really God—in control, all powerful—and that He is good—He always is looking for ways to do good to me.  Those two words begin to change my perspective, and they seem almost magic as they open the door for God to work in the situation.

 

7. On my own I can do NOTHING!!!

When I walk in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, NOTHING is impossible for me.

 

8. God has made me a fire starter

—seeking to be kindling to start fires in hearts and minds.  It is so easy for me to settle for warm little blazes.  But His plans are so much bigger.  He says I can’t even imagine what He wants to do in and through me. He says repeatedly, ”Don’t settle.  Fan the flames.  Let the wind of My Spirit blow through you to spread the wildfires of my love and forgiveness everywhere.”

 

What about you?  What are some life truths that have sunk in for you?

 

c2011 Judy Douglass

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I think that in the past life was probably filled with more awe!  We were surprised, amazed, even enraptured by the simple things of life.

But now we meet people from Kazakhstan, travel to New Zealand, talk to Timbuktu,  behold spectacular movie special effects, watch floods, earthquakes and revolutions as they happen.  We are so bombarded by the astonishing, the dazzling, the stunning, that nothing inspires awe.  In fact, many of us live bored!

How tragic!  For God offers to immerse us in a world of the wondrous, the magnificent, the adventurous—yes, even the miraculous.  We should live in awe!  We should never get over it.

These are a few of the things that inspire awe in me, truths that I never get over:

I never get over God’s love for me–

He delights in me, adores me, treasures me, wants to be with me, enjoys my company, is thrilled when I choose to be with Him.  He really likes me.

I never get over that that love sent Jesus to the cross to die for me–

He forgives me, dresses me in His righteousness, adopts me as His own child, walks with me, provides all I need.  He comforts and encourages, strengthens and lifts up, wipes my tears and laughs with me.

I never get over the beauty and wonder of the world God created–

Sunrise, sunset, the crashing ocean waves, the majesty of mountains, the starkness of the desert.   A galloping horse, a soaring eagle, a willowy jellyfish, a silly otter.

I never get over people–

The kindness (and the meanness) of human beings, the colorful variety, the depth of love between husband and wife, the  joy of children’s laughter and hugs, the sweetness of true friends. The compassion in loss, the comfort in pain, the standing with and kneeling beside.

I never get over that God invited me to be a partner in building His Kingdom–

He calls me a work of art—His masterpiece.  He gifted me with the talents and temperament, the abilities and weaknesses that equip me perfectly for the good works He has prepared for me.  He gives me the privilege of introducing people to the Savior, of helping them to grow, of encouraging them to be and do all He created them for.

Because of all this, my life has real purpose, profound meaning, breathtaking adventure, delicious surprises, deep love, abundant joy, faithful friends, significant work, amazing opportunities.

Who could be bored!

I will never get over it!

c2011 Judy Douglass

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