Thursday, April 7, 2011

God Loving People Through Us

My kids just received this homemade little house from some friends!!  It's pretty amazing, huh?  The top photo shows how it looks including the roof, and the next one is with the roof removed.

These next two pictures show the inside view of a couple of the rooms, complete with the little pieces of furniture.  Our kids found that Lego people fit perfectly into this house, and they love playing with it!

Here's the story behind this beautiful handmade house:  I have a wonderful email friend named Patty who is like my soul sister, and we write back and forth and talk about God and grace.  (I have so enjoyed getting to know you, Patty!  You are God's beloved!)   Patty's husband Dave has a great pastime - making little houses and forts out of popsicle-type sticks.  He also makes the little, delightfully-detailed furnishings.  He has made a house for our kids and we were all blown away by this wonderful gift!  We have never met Patty or Dave in person - we have only known them across cyberspace.  And yet Dave spent a whole month making this little house for our kids.  That has Jesus' love written all over it - thank you so much, Dave, you are an expression of Christ's love to us!

Christ in us shines forth in so many ways, doesn't it? His life shining through us truly creates a kaleidoscope of love and grace to bless this world.  It's exciting to think of God loving someone through me, of helping them to see the truth or even bringing them an encouraging word through me.  Not only can He manifest Himself through various spiritual giftings, but I think He manifests Himself so beautifully just in our everyday life.  I think that in my lowest moments, He has encouraged me greatly just through a person's kind word to me, maybe just "how are you today?" or something so seemingly insignificant, yet God ministered to me through that little word and reminded me He saw me, He knew about my hurt, and He was there.

I think God shines forth from us without us even knowing it, how with hardly our even perceiving it, He is touching the world through us. I think He shines forth from us whether we've got it all together today or not, whether we're always in a good mood or not, whether we always feel especially spiritual or not.  He can even work through or in the midst of our mistakes to bless others.  I think of how sometimes I may get irritated, rant and rave because I burned the dinner - again (just to use a real life example, ugh).  Yet my outbursts, or "flesh-outs" like that often lead to a conversation about grace with my kids!  About how God loves us even when we're not perfect, about how even if we fail, we are still just as loved and right with God as ever. Thus God uses my mess-up to actually build me and my children up in His grace truth.  He truly makes ALL things work for good somehow!

Everywhere we go, with everyone we meet, we are anointed or "Christed" ones bearing His very Spirit, bearing His very glory in us - and He is shining out from us to bring light to the dark world, pouring out of us to give His refreshing Self to those who are thirsty.  Wow!  We're really lovers.  We really want to love people, don't we?  That's the life of Christ in us, of course, for it is our nature to love.  It's programmed into our spiritual DNA at our new birth.  We are loved by Him and we are vessels that pour out His love to the world.  I don't think it's something we have to think about, either.  I think we are caught up in Him and in His grace, and He just flows out.  I don't think we realize it sometimes, but we glow!  We glow with His glory.  You can't have the Light of the World in you and not shine!  As one of my favorite authors, Dan Stone, says, "We have received the Life.  We can't help but manifest it!"  And it isn't by our effort but by His.  It isn't us they are meeting or hearing or interacting with, it's Him. We rest in Him and He works through us!  That's the grace walk, walking in the Spirit, the wonderful Christian life!

God is wonderful and I love the way He loves people right through us...whether through a little popsicle house, through a smile, through a loving word, through building us up when we fail.. He is constantly gracing us all!

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14