Monday, February 4, 2013

What God Has Prepared For Those Who Love Him

My First E-Book Click photo to order

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

You can see a bit of a step of faith in the photo to the left. Its my very first e-book. This one is for a mosaic project but I hope to announce some beautiful inspirational ones in the near future. It has taken some time to figure out how to accomplish creating and publishing an e-book. So needless to say I am pretty excited about this book and other future possibilities that have now become possible. 

If you are interested in ordering this book just click on the photo to go to the secure order site. If you have crafty friends please pass along this link  or help me spread the word by pinning it to your pinterest or facebook pages. Here's the link to my other blog with more sneak peek photos.

I shared the following in our service yesterday. I felt less certain about this one then I did the previous weeks Reflections. I didn't even get this one written till late on Saturday. So I was surprised how many people came up to me afterwards and shared how much it had touched and inspired them. Love it when the Holy Spirit moves. If you were there you did not get to hear the beautiful song by Misty Edwards that I quoted you will find a link to it in this post. I appreciate your continued prayers as God grows and develops these gifts in me as a writer and speaker. Its a pretty big faith journey for me. 

However, as it is written:“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, 

no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those 

who love him”— 1 Corinthians 2:9 

This verse is one of the reasons that when I am worried or afraid that I take the worst things I can think of and automatically cross them off my list. God prepares good things for those who love him. I'm not saying that some things are not hard or that some of them don't stretch us to grow beyond our present strength.

Lions ans bears attacking your sheep don't really seem like good things but they were used to prepare young David to one day face the Giant Goliath. When he got to that moment he already knew that his inadequate size was not even part of the equation for success. The whole army of Israel had forgotten how big their God really was and cowered in fear at the taunts of a heathen Giant.

When David arrives on the scene to deliver food to his brothers he is amazed that not one of those supposedly mighty believing men was going out to put this giant in his place. He tells the king he's going out and the king wants to dress him up in his armor. I have to wonder if maybe the king was hoping his people would see his armor from a distance and think it was the king who had stepped up to defeat the giant. We think we need to put on the garments or calling or gifts that God has given to others as if theirs might fit us better than our own. Help us Lord to be uniquely who you have called us to be.

No eye has seen, no hear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. I'm sure you are thinking, Oh yeah party in heaven with the angels - yep that will be great. For now I've gotta just slog it out here on the strait and narrow road. Oh Lord if only I can make it to the pearly gates."  So what do you do with this verse.
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12

What exactly was Jesus doing? Oh things like healing the sick, making the blind see, and the lame walk. He was casting out demons and setting the oppressed and the captives free. He was feeding the multitudes from a sack lunch. Paying taxes with money from a fishes mouth. Training his disciples. He was laying down his life so that we could come back into a right relationship with the Father. Seems like big stuff. When was the last time you laid your hands on someone and prayed for them to be healed and really expected that God would do it? I'm not saying we should chase after signs and wonders but according to Mark 16 I believe they should accompany or follow us.  2 Timothy 3 is says to have nothing to do with people who have a form of Godliness but deny its power. Have we become so focused on our own struggles that we have forgotten our calling to be salt and light in this world. Have we forgotten that we are ambassadors of another better kingdom. Have we forgotten that we serve the king of Kings and the lord of Lords. That he has given us his power through the Holy Spirit to overcome and to drive back the darkness in His name. 

Jesus says anyone who has faith in him will be doing what he was doing. As if that wouldn't be enough of a stretch - he says we will do even greater things.
Have we adopted a poverty of spirit that looks at challenges and then shrinks away to hide behind our church walls. Are we hoping that someone else will solve the problems of homelessness, hunger, poverty or elevate pain and suffering in our world.  Rise up, God has called you for a purpose. He has called you for such a time as this. Quit making excuses for the things you feel you are lacking. 
It is Christ in you that is the hope of glory. 

A friend shared this song with me yesterday and I listened to it over and over. It is written as if God is speaking directly to you. 

"I knew what I was getting into when called you. 
I knew what I was getting into when I said your name,  
I knew what I was getting into and I still want you.
I knew what I was getting into and I still chose you.

And I am not shocked by your weakness.
And I am not shocked even by your sin.
And I am not shocked by your brokenness.

I knew what I was getting into and I still want you.

Only I can see the end from the beginning.
And only I can see where this is going.
And I see in you the seeds of love.
And I see in you strength, 
when all you see is your failure 
and all you feel is shame. 
I can see deeper than that. I know you better than that.

I knew what I was getting into when called you." ~Misty Edwards

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV1984

You may be struggling today but I want to remind you of the words of Psalm 27:13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Lord fill us up with your Holy Spirit and cause us to shake off our complacency and this poverty of spirit. Help us to rise up to do all the things you were doing and even more in your name and by your authority and power. Help us to quit just existing and waiting for heaven. Help us to rise up as anointed and called people of your kingdom to make a difference in your name and for your glory. 

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