What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately XXXIV (34)…

Diamonds & Coal (6-1-15)

Greetings My Friends~

As a simple pilgrim following Jesus through the rainforests and deserts of this earthly life, I would like to humbly share some of what God has been bubbling up in my mind/heart lately.

I pray that these thoughts are cushions in your shoes, balm to your burns, umbrellas for the rain, and shade to the scorching heat as you too follow the Lord Jesus each day.

(February & March 2015)
(please click on the Bible chapter/verses to read the actual text of Scripture)

  1. Jesus’ Love & Grace

We may not feel like royalty,

we may not act like royalty,

but Jesus treats us like royalty

& invites us into His family to be royalty forever (Ephesians 1:4-6).


  1. Identity

I am a child OF God

before I am anything FOR God…

relationship before role…

know God 1st, serve God 2nd (John 17:3).


  1. God Brings Diamonds Out Of Coal

Jesus works for our good to bring

refreshing water out of sweat & tears;

rainbows out of thunderclouds;

spiritual growth out of life’s manure (Romans 8:28).


  1. Serving Others

Let’s be salt & light not sugar & shadow.

Don’t change the channel when we see/hear others’ pain–

BE a channel of Jesus’ love, grace, healing! (Romans 12:15; Galatians 6:2).


  1. Faith & Worship

As Jacob was dying,

as his earthly life was ending,

as his senses were failing,

as everything he knew (in an earthly sense) was going away,

he still worshipped God (Hebrews 11:21).

Now that’s faith.


  1. Great News

The Bible teaches that humans are sick

(more accurately, it teaches that we are spiritually dead—Ephesians 2:1-3)…

Even so, the Bible also teaches that God is not sick of us

(and He wants to make us alive and new!—Ephesians 2:4-9)…


  1. Real Freedom
    Jesus offers us true freedom,

which is not us desiring to do whatever we want

but us genuinely wanting to do whatever Jesus desires.

Jesus’ commands

dont cause us to tip-toe on eggshells

but to run on solid ground,

like Usain Bolt flying thru a track’s narrow lane! (Psalm 119:32)


  1. Transformation

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

that You want to get us to heaven AND

transform us on the way there

to be closer to You and more like You…(Romans 8:29)


  1. Faith & Suffering

God often leads us to our desired shores

THRU the storm,

AFTER He has calmed it (Psalm 107:24-31).

Sometimes the only way to see God at work

is to follow Him to the deep (dangerous/unknown) waters of life (Psalm 107:24)


  1. God’s Healing Can Be Painful

Many would rather learn how to live with our limp

than let God re-break our legs to teach us how to leap (Psalm 139:23-24).


  1. “Feeling” God

Seeing God’s miracles/experiencing Him powerfully

doesn’t necessarily transform us (Numbers 14:22-23)—

Simple faith during the mundane is needed.


  1. Maturity

Many American Christians at best want spiritual liposuction–

if we even want maturity in Christ

we often don’t want to exercise/work for it (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)…


  1. Receiving Jesus As Savior and God

We understand the importance of others accepting us for who we are;

Do we understand the importance of accepting Jesus for Who He is?

(Matthew 16:13-16)


  1. Slowing Down To Focus On God

We often think we’re sharks—“if I stop moving I’ll die!”

We aren’t sharks but sheep (Isaiah 53:6)—

if we don’t learn to stop moving all the time we’ll never truly live (Psalm 46:10).


  1. Questions & Doubts

Jesus beautifully summarizes the refining work He does in our character:

“You don’t realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand” (John 13:7).


  1. Faith Fuels Faithfulness

Jesus was able to do what His Father sent Him to do because Jesus trusted

  1. where He came from
  2. where He was going
  3. what His Father had done (John 13:3-5)…