Friday, December 6, 2013


I'm Ginny, and these postings will be from my website Ginny's Place and Living Scriptures Weekly Devotional.  I'll also be posting other things of inspiration now and then.  This is just the beginning of the blog, so I hope you'll be patient as I get it organized. This devotional was from last week. There's also a youtube video of it here.

To listen to an audio version of this devotional, click here (to save it, right click and click "save as")

What was your reason for becoming a Christian? What drew you to Christ? Ever finally just ask yourself, "What is the thing God is calling me for?" I don't mean a particular job, or decision, or ministry even. But what has He really called me for? What's His purpose? It seems by so many things I read on the internet today from Christian sites to Christian posts on forums or social media, that many Christians are not even asking that, or understanding what it is. They think he's called them to a happier more fulfilled life, to get a certain job, or house, or husband, or wife, etc. God calls us so far beyond our own goals. He wants us to know what He has called us for... what He has created us for! We only have victory over every other thing in our lives as we understand that.

Knowing this, wouldn't it change all of our motives and perspectives on everyday life and all that happens to us good or bad? I would think so. It sure has changed mine. I'm not anywhere near what I think God would have me to be in this world, yet, just knowing what He has called me for, this is the greatest motivator, energizer, and peace to drive me more and more toward that goal. It changes how I treat others, how I think about circumstances, and about how I face adversity. Paul described His own feelings toward this call...

  Philippians 3:7-16
(7) But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
(8) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
(9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--
(10) that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
(11) that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
(12) Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
(13) Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
(14) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(15) Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
(16) Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Why does this matter in the here and now? Oh it matters in every way! I'll tell you how it mattered in my own life. All of us, whether Christians or non-Christians are going to go through times of gladness and times of sorrow in this world. None of us is exempt from the corruption sin brought into the world regarding sickness, disasters, loss, etc. All of us will lose a loved one. Some are alone in this world without anyone to love. Some are born with debilitating physical deformities or disease. Some of us never are able to have children though we yearn for them. Some of us never find love in a life-time partner. Some have it all, perfect looks, talent, ability, health, friends, family, and yet feel empty, like there is something more. Have you noted how many in Hollywood who are beautiful, talented, and successful ruin their lives on drugs and multiple relationships? Why? Isn't that enough? But then we know that those outside of Christ are always going to be searching because they have not yet found the one true fulfillment they are looking for, Who is Christ, so are never going to be satisfied. But what about the believer? Why as believers are some fighting against all the testings in their life, bitter toward all the sorrow, struggling always for that happiness, fulfillment, and peace they still hope to find through circumstances as they want them? Where is that place of rest God promised? "If I can just get beyond this thing I'm going through, get rid of this problem, get another job, etc. I'll finally be happy and at peace." The answer is in what He has called us for. It's no mystery. He tells us right out.

  John 17:3
(3) And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

When I was always trying to struggle my way out of every trial, unaware of God's purposes in it, I never found rest. My health deteriorated. I plunged into depression. When I began seeing, oh so little by little (I'm a slow learner it seems), that God's calling and purpose is so far higher than my own, I began to finally understand that whatever I go through is first going to go through His nail-scarred hands, meaning He has to see it for my good before He allows it. It has to pass through His love for me... that love that sent Him to the cross for me, and even though the enemy means it for evil, He intends it for good and uses it for His calling for me. Who is it again that "all things work together for good" for? It is "for those who are called according to His purpose." What's His purpose? To know His glory, to know Him, to be His inheritance for all eternity, to share His glory and be "glorified with Him." Glorification: 1. Exaltation to honor and dignity; elevation to glory; as the glorification of Christ after his resurrection. - Webster's 1828 Dictionary.

Romans 8:29-31
(29) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
(30) And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
(31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Here man is continually trying to exalt himself. He's constantly pushing God away so that he can honor and dignify himself in some way in the eyes of man. He's trying to pursue happiness and blessing in this life. Many Christians are no different until they realize what they are called for. In all of this he fails to see the answer is to "deny himself" and to "take up his cross and follow Jesus." When one learns that what God calls us for, this alone is what He is working for us, in us, and that every circumstance He is using toward that end, one rests in faith in what God is doing and does not become shaken to the core through trials. Yes, they will grieve us, give us sorrow and anxiety, yet it is different. Our grief is more akin to the grief Jesus had for Lazarus when He wept at his tomb. Why did Jesus weep when He knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead? Yet, He felt the sorrow in the world, how great the loss, how heavy the devastation sin has brought that caused it all, and that man still did not understand the depths of it, so awful as to cause the Son of God to have to go to the cross to destroy the works of sin and death. Nor did they understand the heights to which He intended to bring them. Death will always cause devastation and grief. Loss will always cause pain. Sickness, wrongs done to us by others - all of this will cause us to suffer greatly. Yet the suffering of the soul is all working something in us and for us that will be our ultimate joy. And the redemption of our bodies awaits us. Corruption will put on incorruption. We are reminded each time of trial what the source of these things are from, and God's victory over them, and though it may seem like a long time to wait, but as Paul said, "what is it to be compared with the glory we have in Him?" What is it compared to eternity with Him? If we hold on to this life, we lose it. If we keep striving to find our life in the things of this world, the experiences of this life, we never do... we just lose more and more. If we cast it all on Him and trust Him to bring us where He wants to take us, disregarding any losses on the way, eyes on the prize of the "upward call" in Christ, what joy we find in Him! What meaning to all those trials we have no control over!

Hebrews 12:1-7
(1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
(2) looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(3) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
(4) In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
(5) And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
(6) For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."
(7) It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

Is it a son/daughter you want to be treated like? Or a rebellious child who thinks they know better than their Savior Who died for them, what is best for them? The Lord will open our understanding more and more as we simply trust in Him, His love for us, and His provision and leading for us, resting in His care of our lives. This will be brought to the test again and again, and each time we will have opportunity to wail and wallow in our sorrow, and have it wasted, or to look to Jesus, cast all of the care of our life onto Him and say, "Jesus show me the path you've chosen, help me to see You and know You more through this." If we choose the latter, He will indeed answer. No promise we won't suffer. Jesus Himself suffered in His obedience to the Father. How should we think we will be exempt from it? "Joy comes in the morning." Our morning WILL come. As we, like Paul, keep our eyes on the prize of that upward call in Christ, He has already made a way for us to the end to which He has called us. God is not temporal. God is eternal. His calling for us is eternal. Knowing this, I am able to be joyful and thankful through all things. I am able to be patient by His grace, waiting. I am able to have faith for my brothers and sisters suffering in this world right now, as I pray for them, knowing God's glory is theirs. I am all the more yearning for that which He yearns for me, as this world becomes less and less to me. I am able to submit to being conformed into His image, rather than trying to struggle against Him. I find His yoke is easy, and His burden light, because I'm letting Him lead, rather than trying to pull Him with me where I want to go. Not possible! You'll exhaust yourself in the trying because He will not go with you. You must go with Him.

Ephesians 1:18
(18) having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

That hope is through the power of Christ - a true holiness that will make us like Him, enabling us to be with Him. It is not attainable any other way than by faith. If it were attainable by us it would be no hope at all. If it were dependent on us, it would be no hope at all. God, Who is perfectly Holy in every aspect, calls us to be fitted to that holiness so we may dwell with Him in eternity. It is a holiness not produced in any way by man nor can it ever be. If it were, Jesus would not have died. If it were something Christ could not attain for us through His death, all that He suffered would be in vain and we would be hopeless. But He gives us a sure hope that what we are called to He has done all for, to make us that, and it will be accomplished completely. It is our hope, it is what we are called for, and in Christ Jesus it has been done. Now we are to grasp it for ourselves by faith, and wait for the final redemption of our bodies - the realization of that hope.

Galatians 5:5
(5) For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

Abba, open our eyes each day and help us to remember, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, for the joy set before us, enduring the cross, until He comes for us. Very soon our hope will be realized! In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye! Come Lord Jesus!

Eph 2:22
(22) In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. If you are not sure that you have eternal life, and want to know how you can be sure, visit my salvation page.