“You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light.”
– 2 Samuel 22:29 NIV
The darkness inside of me, the darkness surrounding me, the darkness that wants to swallow me – God turns it all into light.
There have been times in my past when I was so lost in the darkness that I couldn’t find my way. The light seemed so far away and so often I would stumble and fall. Living a life of bad choices, surrounded by people content to live in the darkness, I often looked over my shoulder to see the light, off in the distance, and wondered what it held for me.
“I can’t go back,” I thought. “It’s been too long, I’ve strayed too far away, I’ve made too many mistakes…” I thought that I was confined to the shadows and that I could never break away.
But His light has always been inside me. And as I draw nearer to Him, he has chased all the darkness away. I can stand up tall and walk in the light. I can see the path He has set for me.
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
Genesis 12:2 NIV
God wants to bless us so we can be a blessing for others. He doesn’t want us to hoard His blessings and keep them for ourselves, He wants us to share.
Have you ever been in a drive-through and paid for the vehicle behind you? You don’t expect anything in return, just sprinkling a little bit of joy on someone’s day…
Have you ever pulled forward to the second window to pick up your food and noticed in your rear view mirror that the person you just blessed was blessing someone else? That’s what this verse is talking about! Only God’s blessings are even bigger and better than burgers and fries!
God wants to put joy in our hearts so we are inspired to make a difference in someone else’s life!
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,”
Hebrews 10:24 NIV
Here are just a few ways you can be a blessing:
– Acts of kindness – even when it’s not needed, sometimes the smallest gestures can brighten someone’s day!
– Kind words – words of encouragement, compliments
– Listening – sometimes people just need to be heard and understood. Give someone the attention they need!
– Donations – whether it’s a charity that is near and dear to your heart or a coworker who is going through hard times, sometimes monetary donations are a blessing. When you are doing your spring cleaning ask yourself if someone at a homeless shelter could find your items useful, before you just toss them.
– Acts of service – volunteer at your local food bank or check with your pastor to see if there are any volunteer initiatives that you could participate in.
– Prayers – sometimes the best thing you can offer someone is a heartfelt prayer.
Dear God, I thank You for all the blessings that You have given me. I am so overjoyed that you want to make ME a blessing! Please open my eyes so that I might see every opportunity to bless others. I hope that by blessing others, I will bring glory to Your name!
“The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”
Genesis 11:6 NIV
Unity is important. In God’s own words, nothing is impossible for us if we work together
as one people,
as one church,
as one community.
With the right motivation and a purpose based on following God’s will, we can accomplish unimaginable feats through collaboration!
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”
1 Corinthians 12:12 NIV
Dear God, Please help me overcome my shyness so that I may make connections with others who are serving You. I am ready to boldly step into the plan that You have for me and I know that means living linked to others. Please give me the courage to reach out and make a friend that loves You as much as I do.
After Noah showed God his respect and gratefulness, God was pleased. In fact, He immediately began blessing Noah and his sons.
He said that He would never again curse the ground because of us, even knowing full well that it is our nature to sin.
His love for us is so great that he wanted to fill the Earth with us again.
He gave us meat to eat. That may seem insignificant to us these days, but this is a gift that He had not offered before.
He made it clear how precious our lives are to Him when he said that he would demand an accounting for the life of a fellow human.
He established a covenant with Noah, and He put a rainbow in the sky, because He wants us to see this symbol of His love. He has the power to take away everything we have, even our very lives, in the blink of an eye, but He chooses to show us His love instead.
Look at how much has changed in God’s view of us, as humans, from the beginning of Noah’s story through to the covenant. He looked at us and regretted that he had ever made us at all. But this one man was so faithful, so full of love, devotion, and gratefulness, that God looked at us as precious again. He wants to give us the world!
He wants us to love Him and honor Him, like Noah did.
He wants us to show that we are devoted and grateful.
I fall on my knees, thanking You for Your love and Your grace that I could never earn. Thank You for never giving up on me, even when I give up on myself. I am so grateful for the relationship that we are building stronger each day, and for everything that You are teaching me as I draw closer to You. Please open my eyes so that I may see every opportunity to honor You and to show my devotion to You.
God didn’t make us like everything else. We are special to him. When he created man, he made us in his image – out of love. He wanted us to be like him so he could have a relationship with us. After creating us in his image, he saw that it was very good. Not just OK, very good.
Remember that when you look in the mirror and see nothing but your flaws. God made every part of you, and he doesn’t make mistakes. He sees every flaw, but he still loves you! He doesn’t compare you to anyone else, so why should you?! He made you unique and you were born just when and where he wanted you. When you wish for a prettier face or a thinner body or a whole new life… You are focusing on the wrong things! Look in the mirror again and find something that you DO like. Look in the mirror without comparing yourself to anyone else. Those eyes, that nose, that mouth – they are all God’s creation and he loves you. Focus more on him and the gift of life that he gave you, and less on your insecurities. Shift your self-image from your physical imperfections to finding his qualities in you. When you begin to see the beauty and the good inside yourself and others, then you will know that you have your Father’s eyes.
When I am feeling less than perfect, I will pray:
Thank you, Lord, for giving me the miracle of life, and for blessing me with good health and a body that functions the way it is supposed to! Please help me to accept my body just the way it is and to make good choices for my health. And help me to have confidence in knowing that you made me just the way you wanted me – from every strand of hair on the top of my head, to the freckle on the bottom of my foot! And that you gave me everything I need to fulfill your plan for me.
Genesis 1:26-31a NIV
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.