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2/13/09 10:07 A

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This is just what I needed to read this morning!

Candi

Today is the day!



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2/12/09 9:47 P

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(By Marybeth Whalen of Proverbs 31 Ministries)

A BAG FULL OF LOVE


“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)



Devotion:

Recently, I received a gift bag filled with the following items: a birthday candle, a page from a calendar, a list of words, a thread, and a picture of a baby. I loved what each item symbolized so much that I wanted to share them with you!



The birthday candle symbolizes that God knew the day you were born. He ordained the circumstances and people who were involved in your birth. He knew what you would look like and who would welcome you. He knew how much you would weigh, what your cry would sound like, and whether you would be bald or have a head full of hair. (Psalm 139:16)



The page from the calendar symbolizes that each of your days was planned before you were even born. He knew how you would spend your days—what your hobbies and interests would be, what your job would be, and who you would share your days with. He knew the days you would spend honoring Him and the days you would wish you could do over. (Psalm 139:2-3)



The list of words (which could be a typewritten list or a page from an old dictionary) symbolizes that God knows every word you say before you even say it. The nice words and not-so-nice words. The angry words and the words of encouragement. The times you should have held your tongue and the times you thought of the right words to say hours too late. He knows the times you have spoken up on His behalf, and He sees the times you were too shy and unsure to speak. (Psalm 139:4)



The thread represents the hairs on your head, which the Bible tells us are numbered. Straight hair or curly hair, red hair or gray hair, real or “bottled” color. God knows every detail of you, His marvelous creation. He counts your freckles, knows the ridges on your fingernails, and sees the blemishes you try to hide. He truly loves you, warts and all. (Matthew 10:30)



Finally, the picture of a baby is to remind you that He knit you together in your mother’s womb. He knows you better than your parents, your spouse, your children or your friends. He knows the parts you don’t show anyone else. He sees the tears no one else sees. He hears the dreams and frustrations no one else hears. He knows you, inside and out. (Psalm 139:13)



The Bible assures us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. I once read that the word “wonderfully” in the Hebrew is “palah,” which means “to distinguish, or to be set apart.” God created each one of us to be unique and distinct in some way. We each have a special destiny only we can fulfill. In a world of comparisons and keeping up with impossible standards, it is so easy to forget that our uniqueness is His gift to us. Too often we see it as a curse.



Psalm 139:14 says “I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God wants us to praise Him for the way that He made us. He wants us to celebrate the little details He thought of. A friend bought a tee shirt for her little boy that said, “When God Made Me, He Was Just Showing Off.” Oh, that we could all feel His pleasure in us to that extent!



I love that the contents of this bag helps me to focus on God’s love for me - a love that exceeds my limited understanding, a love that goes far beyond skin deep.



Dear Lord, You love me and You created me exactly as You intended. I confess that sometimes I forget that. Help me to see what You had in mind when You fashioned me. Help me to remember that You have set me apart for Your purpose. Thank You for that reminder today, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


BELIEVE, LIVE JOYFULLY, BREATHE DEEPLY, BE HOPEFUL, LAUGH!!!

"When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything You gave me.'" ~Erma Bombeck
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