Yesterday, I spoke on allowing God to do an extreme makeover in your life from Isaiah 61:3
Here, God promises to: provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Crown of Beauty instead of Ashes—People who wear a crown are people who live an elevated life. God wants you to live above the things that can drain you and drag you down. What ashes are you sitting in? Are they the remains of abuse, betrayal, broken promises, grief, regret, shame, lying or selfishness?
The first step to trading our ashes for beauty is learning to forgive others who have reduced us to ashes at different moments in our lives. Joseph was wronged by every significant person in his life, yet he chose to forgive them (see his story in Genesis).
Some of you need to forgive yourself. If you are sitting in ashes of your own making, the way to forgive yourself is by first obtaining God’s forgiveness. Admit your guilt and ask God to forgive you, then free yourself by giving yourself permission to live or permission to love or permission to serve or permission to go after your dreams.
The oil of gladness instead of mourning. Obtain this by embracing each moment, the good ones and the tough ones.
Joseph went through unthinkable difficulties. Yet he didn’t whine or complain. If Joseph was going to be a slave, he would be the best slave he could be. If he was going to be a prisoner, he was going to be the best prisoner he could be. And Scripture says God was with Joseph in those moments and God prospered him! (Genesis 39:2) When Joseph was alone in the earthly realm, He could count on God to be with Him. That is cause for gladness!
Garment of Praise instead of a spirit of despair. God knows what He is doing, and He is doing it on purpose in your life and mine and for our good if we are surrendered to Him. Yes, He could shelter us from every heartache and every pain and every trial. But testing and trial are the vehicles through which our faith and character are refined. They become the mold the enables us to be conformed to the image of Christ. (James 1:1-3 and Romans 8:28-29)
God intends what you are going through today to be preparation for tomorrow. Joseph understood this principle. We read his words in Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
So in this extreme makeover God wants to do deals with yesterday. . . Forgive those who have hurt you. Seek God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself. Then put the past completely in the past. Get rid of the ashes. Put on your crown.
In this extreme makeover God wants to deal with today. Embrace the moment because God is with you. Let that make your heart glad.
In this extreme makeover God wants to deal with tomorrow. It’s all preparation. It’s all transformation, and it’s all good when we submit to Him and trust Him completely. Don’t see your current trial as a burden, but as a blessing and that will make it feel lighter so you can praise God for it in the meantime!
Opportunity to Serve! . . . COME ON SATURDAY TO THE ACRES AND BE A PART OF REACHING OUR COMMUNITY BY HELPING US WEED EAT AND CLEAN UP THE GROUNDS TO GET READY FOR THE SPRING SEASON! BRING YOUR KIDS AND LET THEM PLAY! BRING LAWN TOOLS AND TRASH BAGS. 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
We still need more lawncare sign ups for here at the church. If you will serve for ONE MONTH, please reply to this email.
If you didn’t let us know yesterday what service your family plans on attending once we go to two services, please reply to this email and let us know if you will attend the first or second service. Remember, we are hoping to have 100 commitments for the first service.