A Good Work In You

Humans are a needy lot. Beyond imperatives like food, shelter, and sleep, we need affirmation, hope, motivation, truth, non-fragmented thoughts, noble attitudes, competence, friendships, acceptance, wisdom, and on and on and on.

dovetail-joints--for blogUDU2Ny0yNDcuMjQ5ODM= (1)Do we rely on God to meet our needs? Our areas of lack dovetail with God’s provision. Our needs are a mortise filled with God’s perfectly-fitted tenon. It is a partnership, a melding of a finite human and the infinite God.

John 15:4-  “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 

Often our needy lives merit considerable restoration. If a piece of furniture could do the impossible and re-grow its own broken or missing parts, it would be called rejuvenation. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could rejuvenate all that we ever lost?

But when it involves the unwillingness of other people, rejuvenation isn’t always possible. That’s when God provides a replacement. God DOES fill the need. He has a detailed, complete plan for your restoration. He dovetails pieces together while crafting the fulfillment of that plan. He is at work creating a masterpiece only he fully envisions.

carpenter, inlaid wood

No single piece of wood comprehends its placement during the design process. As a part being manipulated in the carpenter’s hand, we can’t see his plan. Yielding control to him often elicits anxiety — we fear what he’s going to do and when. We need to remember:

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Psalm 62:5 “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Be still, soul. Rest in God alone. You need not fear him. He is concerned for your well-being.

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” (Common English Bible)

Trust that God is tirelessly at work meeting your needs, restoring your soul, and establishing your good future.

He will choose the inerrant time to move you from his secluded workshop and publicly unveil his great work. Your purposeful and meaningful life will be recognized as one unable to have been crafted by man alone.

There is sure to be awe-inspiring beauty in his finished work.

inlaid floor for blog

John 15:8 “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

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Under Renovation

I enjoy the “before” and “after” photos of home renovations, like these pictures of the Kuppersmith Project from “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford”.

kuppersmith-overgrown.jpg before picKuppersmith window-rot-smallkuppersmith, before pic of fireplacekuppersmith kitchen-1.jpg before

While Lipford renovates homes, God renovates lives. It’s exciting stuff, having the project manager of all project managers in charge of our renovations. He has great vision. There’s nothing too deteriorated, neglected, vandalized, rotted, overgrown, or overwhelming for him to take on. He’ll transform, overhaul, overthrow, release, clean, guide, counsel … you name a problem and he has a solution. In time, our “after” photos show a remarkable transformation.

But keep in mind that any pictures snapped in the middle of renovation may not appear representative of the vision. Restoration can involve some serious demolition and removal. Outdated wiring, lead paint, and asbestos must be removed. Rotted windows and damaged drywall have to go. It sometimes looks worse before it looks better.

kuppersmith demolition white-suits kuppersmith demolition kitchen-empty-3kuppersmith ceiling-removalkuppersmith gut img_2531

Cut yourself some slack if you’re in the middle of renovation. Relax your expectations of others too. Don’t judge a person’s status by his temporary mess, or his newly stripped-down, skeletal life. He may be the most yielded, willing, “I’m all in” person God has partnered with in a long while. His renovation may be the most exciting project God has directed for ages. Only God and he know his heart, just as only God and you know your own.

Hang in there with the project manager of all project managers. If you are willing, he has a great vision, a detailed blueprint, and a skilled crew at work restoring your life. You can be certain that you will be deeply satisfied with your “after” pictures.

Kuppersmith home-finsihed2kuppersmith kitchen-afterkuppersmith family-roomkuppersmtih living-room-1.jpg afterkuppersmith foyer-2

 

 

 

 

Dovetailing

Humans are a needy lot. Beyond imperatives like food, shelter, and sleep, we need affirmation, hope, motivation, truth, non-fragmented thoughts, noble attitudes, competence, friendships, acceptance, wisdom, and on and on and on.

dovetail-joints--for blogUDU2Ny0yNDcuMjQ5ODM= (1)Do we rely on God to meet our needs? Our areas of lack dovetail with God’s provision. Our needs are a mortise filled with God’s perfectly-fitted tenon. It is a partnership, a melding of a finite human and the infinite God.

John 15:4-  “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 

Often our needy lives merit considerable restoration. If a piece of furniture could do the impossible and re-grow its own broken or missing parts, it would be called rejuvenation. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could rejuvenate all that we ever lost?

But when it involves the unwillingness of other people, rejuvenation isn’t always possible. That’s when God provides a replacement. God DOES fill the need. He has a detailed, complete plan for your restoration. He dovetails pieces together while crafting the fulfillment of that plan. He is at work creating a masterpiece only he fully envisions.

carpenter, inlaid wood

No single piece of wood comprehends its placement during the design process. As a part being manipulated in the carpenter’s hand, we can’t see his plan. Yielding control to him often elicits anxiety — we fear what he’s going to do and when. We need to remember:

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Psalm 62:5 “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Be still, soul. Rest in God alone. You need not fear him. He is concerned for your well-being.

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” (Common English Bible)

Trust that God is tirelessly at work meeting your needs, restoring your soul, and establishing your good future.

He will choose the inerrant time to move you from his secluded workshop and publicly unveil his great work. Your purposeful and meaningful life will be recognized as one unable to have been crafted by man alone.

There is sure to be awe-inspiring beauty in his finished work.

inlaid floor for blog

John 15:8 “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

Looking Forward

“For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.”  Romans 5:2 (Living Bible, TLB)

This verse in the Living Bible translation points us to a joyful future, a time of becoming who God originally meant us to be. Imagine what might have been if God alone had raised each of us since birth. Who would we be today?

Instead, each of us were shaped by the people, cultures, and environments we were born into.

crocus in the snow, pic 2

As vulnerable humans in a blustery world, it is no surprise we gradually morphed from the person God intended. We developed impaired habits. We wore useless grooves into our characters by our own unmitigated behaviors and misguided thinking.

To put it bluntly, we are marred. Bruised. Trampled. Withered.

The good news is, we’re not beyond repair. If we want him to, God will carefully restore us to our starting points. We can have spring all over again. Looking forward, he’ll stay with us through every season of our lives thereafter.

He will personally oversee our steady development to make us overcomers. Victors. Conquerors. Champions.

Though our newborn days passed long ago, God offers to “re-raise” us. If we let him, we can experience the unparalleled privilege of starting anew, confidently and joyfully looking forward to actually becoming all that he has had in mind for us to be.

May this spring be one you savor.