Why did He have to die?

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‘AFTER JESUS had finished all…He entered…’

These words of God were highlighted by the Holy Spirit for me this morning as I was reading my devotional.

“AFTER JESUS had finished all that He had to say in the hearing of the people [on the mountain], He entered Capernaum.”

Luke 7:1 AMPC

Jesus was only 33 years old when His life on earth ended.

Many would say He died way too young. Ever think about how His friends and family felt when He passed away?

There were people who loved Jesus who grieved when He passed…

Yet God had a plan and a purpose for His life… to impact the lives of a multitude of others.

The people who lived life with Jesus grieved deeply when His life on earth ended.

Just as WE grieve, when OUR loved ones pass on.

God cared about Jesus’s friends.

And God cares about us.

Yes, God cares about their (and our) broken hearts…

Yet God had a purpose.

One that most of us simply do not understand.

Just like God has a plan and a purpose for ALL life-

Life is a gift from God. Whether alive for 1 day or 100 years-ALL life is significant and carries Gods purpose for a bigger picture…HIS picture.

Sometimes it’s not what the individual life can accomplish by themselves and for themselves that matters, but what that life represents in the span of another’s life.

Stop and think for a moment about some of the knowledge that we possess.

Where did we learn from? Who did we learn from?

Sometimes we learn from mistakes.

Our own and also those of others.

But more often than not, we learn by example. We follow the example of those around us.

Infants learn to imitate what their parents do and continue to grow throughout their life… shaped and formed based on their childhood experience.

Ever bump into a personality type that rubs you the wrong way? That just kind of gets on your nerves?

Yeah… me too. I often wondered why… and then I asked God.

Instead of asking God to change them, He let me know that there was something in ME that needed changing…

God was providing me an opportunity through the difficult personalities of others to teach me and develop me.

An opportunity to be chiseled… to be pruned… to be sharpened… to grow… to improve my love walk…

Perhaps the sharp edges of others are being used to file off rough spots on our own hearts… after all, diamonds in the rough need to be revealed by harsh treatment of others…

Proverbs 27:17

‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’

Both blades are being sharpened and transformed into efficient and effective tools, when used together. By themselves, they remain dull and ineffective.

The truth here is that we need one another.

And the passing of ones life is very important to those who remain and continue to live without them.

We influence one another… and sometimes the detriment of one life coming to end has a lasting, significant impact on the life of another or on a group of people.

Often times, we get so lost in our grief that we are blinded to the blessings… and the lessons, God has for us.

There’s often good that comes out of bad.

The impact of loss forever changes how the lives of others are being shaped, and formed, and molded into Gods perfect plan.

Remember, God is the Potter, we are the clay.

Isaiah 64:8 ESV

‘But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand.’

Sometimes, in life… we just plain out feel like a lump of clay.

And we feel like ‘life’ keeps throwing sucker punches at us… a quick jab to the left, and POW 💥- a major blow to the stomach. Right?

Ever hear or say the expression ‘when it rains, it pours?’

We get to the point where we can’t seem to catch our breath, and BOOM! There’s yet another test and trial facing us.

Yikes!

It sometimes hurts to be pressed, pushed, pounded, shaped and molded, as clay… doesn’t it?

When a loved one dies… it leaves a hole in our hearts… we feel lost. We are filled with unanswered hard questions… and often, people blame God.

God knows exactly how we feel!!!

Look at Jesus. His life on earth was short too, but significant to all mankind.

He only lived to age 33.

His life was cut short.

Have you ever thought about it?

I’m sure many of those who loved Him felt robbed and shortchanged when He died on the cross.

I’m sure many said things like ‘it’s not fair!’ Or ‘He didn’t deserve to die’ or ‘He was such a good person’… and in Jesus’s case- it WAS not fair! He DIDN’T deserve to die! He WAS a good person!

In fact- He was SINLESS.

We’ve all heard people ask ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’

Maybe you’ve said it yourself or at least thought it…

I have a few questions for you:

What is ‘good?’ What is ‘bad?’ By who’s standard?

Can not BOTH things or circumstances that are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ be worked out for our good?

Yes. Absolutely.

Romans 8:28 NASB

‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’

God had another purpose for His Son’s life that was greater than His life itself.

Like Jesus, let’s consider the life of others that ended…leaving a gap in ours….

What does this persons life have to teach me?

How might my life be enhanced for the better because of this persons life?

How has the life of my loved one impacted the lives of others?

Am I thankful to God for the gift of their life in mine?

We often times think we have it all figured out don’t we?

Sometimes the perspective is always introverted and we think ‘life is only about me’ or ‘what’s in this for me’ or ‘how can I bear all of this?’

‘Why do I have to endure this?’

These are some of the heart wrenching thoughts and questions many who are grieving experience.

Perhaps instead we should be looking at other questions?

Maybe asking God ‘show me Your purpose in this.’

Or ‘What is it Lord I need to learn from this?’

Or ‘Help me Lord fulfill Your plan for my life regardless for the length.’

God places others in our lives to help us in our development of becoming who God wants us to be.

God uses every emotion and every experience for His good.

Every tear shed, every disappointment, every heart ache, every mistake… God causes even our mistakes to prosper and work out for our good.

Not every ingredient in a recipe taste good by itself.

In fact there’s some ingredients that are downright nasty tasting- for instance, try taking a spoonful of baking powder or baking soda and see how that taste.

By itself NO ONE would eat it and say ‘yum this is so good!’

Yet it (as each ingredient) has a purpose, and by the time the cake comes out of the oven, the entire house smells wonderful and every bite of that cake is going to taste good.

I believe our lives are like a cake recipe…

Throughout our lives, there’s different experiences, good ones and not so good ones… and painful ones.

These experiences are similar to an ingredient of a cake recipe- that by themselves independently appear to be bad and leave a yucky taste in our mouth.

But at the end of our lives, when it’s all put together, we can look back one day and see how God intricately woven in every ingredient of every experience, good and bad, into His beautiful masterpieces…

Our steps are ordained established by God.

  • Ordained and established for HIS plan. HIS big picture.
  • Psalm 37:23

    ‘A man’s steps are established by the LORD, and the LORD delights in his way.’

    We need to stop thinking we know it all.

    And we need to truly relinquish control to God. Do we trust Him?

    Do we REALLY trust Him?

    Really? Even when we don’t understand?

    Even when it doesn’t make sense?

    EVEN WHEN IT HURTS?

    Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    It’s not always easy to surrender. God is faithful, and He knows all things, and He’s working things out for good…

    Not only for YOUR good… but for the good of His Kingdom.

    It’s good to plan… but it’s BETTER to seek out GODS plans… for His are the one that matters.

    Gods ways are not our ways. We can’t possibly understand everything about God. Only His ways He puts in His Word are we able to understand… to a degree.

    Every life matters, and is significant in Gods plans- and…

    Every life has a beginning, and an appointed time to end.

    Treasure all life. And give your treasures to the Keeper of your heart. 💗

    Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

    ‘Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.’

    Don’t miss the miraculous!

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    “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10

    God made every seed to reproduce after its own kind.

    Think about it.

    How incredible is this?!?

    Many times we take so much for granted! We miss the miraculous in the ‘ordinary.’ Yet every breath we breathe is life sustained, and is miraculous in itself!

    God created man, and BREATHED life into him. God alone sustains life.

    We can plant a seed (that God created) but we don’t have the ability to cause it to grow. Only God can…only God does.

    And when I open each one of these fruits and vegetables before me, it contains it’s own seeds, created by God, to reproduce after its own time.

    It’s pretty amazing, and there’s nothing happenstance or coincidental about it.

    This is so for EVERY single form of life, whether plant, mammal, fish, animal or human.

    For those who are skeptics about God being The Creator, explain your theory of how this can be true for every single form of life 100% without fail, other than God, THE ONE AND ONLY GOD, is real and is THE Creator of all.

    It’s also true with our finances. When we sow a financial seed (tithes and offerings) into the Kingdom of Heaven, investing in winning souls, spreading the good news of the saving gospel of salvation, it also will increase and we will reap a harvest of blessings!

    Many times we miss the miraculous in the ordinary… but with eyes to see, we SEE the hand of God… even in a tiny seed.

    God DEFINITELY allows -turns!

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    Who DOESN’T want a life that is abundantly whole, healed, put-together and full of delight???

    I don’t think any of us decided when we were little children ‘when I grow up, I want to be miserable, broke, busted and disgusted!’ Right???

    Yet for some of us, our lives have somehow gotten off course.

    We find ourselves trapped, not the way we envisioned it to be, stuck.

    Any of you find yourselves asking these questions or expressing these thoughts:

    • How in the world did this HAPPEN?
    • This surely wasn’t what I wanted.
    • What am I going to do?
    • Where did I go wrong?
    • What did I do to deserve this?

    Whoa!!! Hold on, friends! You’re not alone!

    And I have good news! No matter how lost you are, there’s always a way to get back in track!

    God truly does allow u-turns!

    Have any of y’all besides me gotten lost while traveling? Anyone else take the wrong turn before?

    Let me share one true experience I had… my family STILL teases me about it!

    One year, my family were traveling by car from

    Virginia to Iowa, and eventually, Wisconsin for a family reunion…my husband, myself, and our three children.

    I was telling them of this amazing multi-story shopping mall, with an indoor amusement park, called ‘The Mall of America’ that I visited briefly with my mother when we had a layover at the airport in-between flights… it was in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    Yeah, I know this NOW… but THEN? I got it wrong. WAY wrong. Using the paper maps, I rerouted our trip, to go through INDIANAPOLIS INDIANA…. thinking that was where it was.

    But of course, the nearer we got- we were not seeing signs to the Mall of America!!! I kept telling the kids ‘keep looking! It’s across the street from the airport! We can’t miss it- it’s huge!!!’

    Finally, we pulled up to an airport hotel and asked the concierge ‘we must have taken a wrong turn, sir. Could you tell us which exit is for the Mall of America?’

    Oh, his face expression was priceless! He broke into a belly gut laugh!!! I couldn’t figure out what was so funny until he told me-

    ‘Mam, you’re in INDIANAPOLIS. The Mall of America is in MINNEAPOLIS. You’re in the wrong state! You’re about 590 miles away!’

    Crushed! I was embarrassed, and crushed., as I quickly realized my children were going to be disappointed… Thankfully, I’m married to THE most patient man. We added a few extra days to our trip, and sure enough- we made it to the Mall of America!

    The kids got to play in the big Lego’s store, and ride the roller coaster and other rides in the in door amusement park. Fun memories were made after all- but the biggest one laughed about now, was the wrong turn!

    We can laugh at our mistakes, when we confront them with grace… and learn from them-and correct them.

    God wants us to live an abundant life. He knows we will make mistakes. He’s there to help ya through them. And He’s there to help us get back on track.

    Just as in my story, in life- we make ‘wrong turns.’ If we are focused on the right directions, and following them, we won’t end up where we need to end up.

    Adjustments must be made, and a little extra time has to be spent to get back on track- but with God, and godly people in our life- it’s absolutely doable!

    Real life is abundant, pure, a gift!

    Eternally good.

    This can only be obtained when we listen AND DO what God’s voice is telling us what to do!

    Listen!

    There are two voices competing for our attention-

    God’s, and Satan’s.

    One is good, and wants only good for us-

    The other is bad, and wants only bad for us.

    We choose.

    • We choose which voice to listen to…
    • We choose which voice to obey…
    • We choose which life to live…

    A life designed by God, reaching our potential and call He has planned for us-serving Him all of our days with the goal of having an abundant life well lived, meaningful…

    Or a live planned by the evil one, Satan, full of struggles, deception, ungodliness, falling short, unfulfilled, no real purpose- no real peace, with his goal to kill, steal and destroy us.

    When my children were small, we’d sing this song:

    ‘🎶 Oh be careful little eyes what you see! Oh be careful little ears what you hear! 🎶. For the Father up above is looking down with love, oh be 🎶 careful little eyes what you see! Oh be careful 🎶little ears what you hear!’

    There’s so much wisdom in this simple tune.

    Satan is the little ‘g’ god of this world.

    God said, as Christians, we are in this world, but not OF this world.

    God has said it- He has given us eyes to see, and ears to hear.

    He has told us:

    ‘Above all else…Guard your heart. For everything you do flows from it.’ (Proverbs 4:23)

    Actually- God loves us so much He has given us instructions for living a life right!

    Proverbs 4:20- 27

    ‘My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to My Words.

    Do not let them out of your sight,

    Keep them within your heart;

    For they are life to those who find them and healing & health to all their body.

    Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

    Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk from your lips.

    Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.

    Watch the path of your feet and let all your ways be established.

    Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.’

    See! God has given us a road map to navigate successfully through this life, in His Word! He’s also given us His voice, the Holy Spirit… AND- He’s given us the most amazing G.P.S. ‘God’s Precious Son.’

    Without God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ, we are lost, off track, heading in the wrong direction.

    It’s time for a u-turn!

    If you resonate with this, if you’re feeling tugs in your heart, then the Lord is beckoning you to Him.

    Pray this simple prayer and mean it in your heart:

    ‘Dear Heavenly Father,

    I’m lost. I’ve been wandering around through my life, made a few wrong turns, and can’t seem to find my way back to you.

    Help me, Lord! I see now from these scriptures that I haven’t guarded my heart…I haven’t paid attention to Your Words. I have let them out of my sight… please forgive me!

    I choose to return to You, dear God. I will listen. Speak to me. Show me. Guide me. Lead me. I am Yours. In Jesus Name, Amen.’

    If you’ve prayed this prayer, there’s thousands of angels in Heaven right this very moment cheering and celebrating your decision!!!

    We encourage you to get into a good, bible teaching church., so that you can restart your Christian life with other believers to help disciple you.

    We’d love to hear from you and to know of your decision! God bless you!

    You can contact us through our website link here:

    Website for iamjesusgal ministries

    Life’s a Journey

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    Life is a journey…

    Made up of peaks and valleys, many roads-some long and narrow, some bumpy, some treacherous, some winding, and some seem never to end!

    Many times, we start on our path, believing we know the destination-but as we go-we realize each curve in the road, each intersection-is more challenging than the last.

    All the variances and places in between ‘here and there’ in the roads we travel in life are being used by God in shaping us, molding us, into His image.

    Sometimes, we set our cruise control, sit back, and enjoy the beauty in our surroundings!

    Sometimes, the scenes are splendorous and breathtaking!

    We travel through so many different sceneries!

    The snowy peaked mountains, rolling hills of countryside, changing fall colors, the plains…

    Miles of corn fields, and wheat farms-sometimes even alongside the oceans… sweet fragrances to enjoy, and we reflect on Gods beauty everywhere.

    Not every road in our life’s journey offers beautiful scenery-

    Not every stretch is pleasant…

    (Or enjoyable.)

    Sometimes- when we are traveling, we get stuck in traffic.

    It’s NEVER convenient. NEVER planned. Just as we thought we were making progress…bam!

    In one hundred degree temperatures.

    Sometimes, the air conditioning stops working-and life gets sticky, unpleasant.

    Sometimes we have to roll our sleeves up, and our windows down.

    Sometimes, instead of the enjoyable fresh country air, and sweet aromas of honeysuckle- instead, is the stench of cow manure from the dairy farm, or from the garbage truck next to you!

    This IS life.

    God will use each part- every mile of our travel, especially the little side trails where we wander- and will use them for His glory.

    It may not ‘make sense’ to us-and may not always ‘feel’ good…

    Sometimes, part of our ‘journey’ seems as if we are stuck in a tunnel for miles and miles…with very little light surrounding us to help navigate clearly through.

    Yet, as the song ‘Waymaker‘ goes-

    ‘Even when I don’t see it, He’s working-

    Even when I don’t feel it-He’s working-

    He never stops-never stops working, He never stops! Never stops working!’

    God takes the little things we don’t usually understand and works them out for our good.

    Listen-

    Hear His voice, the still, small voice on the inside-

    Rest in Him.

    Trust in Him.

    Do what is right, even when it’s hard.

    Don’t compromise.

    When the rose bush is being trimmed, the pruning process is painful at the time-but it’s so necessary for the growth and blooms about to follow!

    When God’s doing the pruning, He will make it right.

    I read a devotion this morning that made me think along this lines, ‘Simple Living’ (TearFund). Here’s an excerpt:

    God is in the business of taking small, tiny offerings and using them to create a huge impact. The small, smooth stones in David’s sling. A little boy with five loaves and two fish. The tiny mustard seed. A widow’s last few drops of oil and flour for a final meal with her son.

    We often think of what we lack. The problems are too big; the world is too broken. But God is able to do abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine. He’s blessed us with creativity, ingenuity–and each other.

    In considering the small things we can do and when we are uncertain of the way ahead, we can be encouraged that God takes our small steps–and our offerings along the way, inadequate though they seem–and breathes His life through them for His glory.

    Chew over the words in Psalm 84:5 and thank God for the blessings He gives to those who set their hearts on pilgrimage.

    God is for us! He is with us-through every step of our journey. He is faithful, and will never leave us or forsake us.

    It’s easy to enjoy the enjoyable seasons of our lives… trusting God during the difficult times is where we see our inner character outwardly.

    When we are stuck in a season when everything seems to be crumbling around us- the spotlight highlights us in moments of raw transparency-

    Remember… the journey of life continues… this particular ‘mile’ will fade., bringing us closer to our destination.

    Like a road map, so are the days of our life. All have meaning and purpose.