BREAKOUT POSITIVE THOUGHTS. 596 . ( Less is Greater, Greater is less .)

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”

We have been formed to thrive.  Whatever in the world that looks fearful is trumped by our wonder and fear in God and His promises to overcome. 

There has been a temptation to distract ourselves by hiding in the past or in the expectation in the future but we have a call to be and remain in the present for that is where God is.

Be present in our now and be awed when we see Jesus is there with us. 

Jesus did not leave our side throughout whatever we endured during Covid, whatever war has dealt to thousands, whatever our political culture and world throws up.

Many with existing faith and connection to church, alongside others who did not possess this, did not need help to find Jesus in their lives and in the world found that He was not only to be found in a building but within and alongside them.

They were already discovering what it meant to follow Jesus beyond the church. 

Perhaps the pandemic and for some the war hastened the process, caused them to ask new questions, or renewed their courage on the journey.

We also, along with being connected to His presence, can increasingly sense our connectedness to one another. 

While traumas anchor us in one place God’s presence moves us forward along the narrow path. 

His love, kindness, gentleness softly exposes us to deal with what we have avoided acknowledging around and within us. 

Stuff of years, with a need to be dealt with, stir up and we are given opportunities in this exposure to be freed from the toxin and the pain. Healed and liberated. 

They hold and surround us but  no moment is wasted. 

What exists, that we are ashamed and appalled by inside, need not be hidden away and wasted. 

The mess can be usefully transformed into another narrative. It becomes a memorial stone in life as a warning of no repetition or as a wisdom that helps others past the same in their lives. Reminders of what God can do and that God is good.

“that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’”

Or a stone that gives glory to God declaring victory because of His help to overcome and step over the difficulty when God steps in. 

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.””

The healing powers of Jesus and wonderful powers of God are immeasurable and therefore we are not hopeless. What has been our trauma can be our sacrifice and a source of life for others. An example of a “living sacrifice” and therefore not a failure but a force when God remoulds and transforms it.

“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”

We like living stones, like the leaven of living yeast are monuments of love and kindness for others displaced and desperate or hungry for the fullness of who God is.

God is not distant, remote and separated. He is present and ever drawing us closer in intimacy. We fear being separated from Him by our shame or by our circumstances.

We stand on Holy ground and are hosting the Holy of Holies. He sustains our every breath and chooses to expose more of His love and righteousness.

 As a whole being He encompasses love, goodness, justice, wrath, judgement, mercy cleansing us always as tenderly as a mother tending her baby.

He is whole not fragmented like us. He works to restore us to wholeness.

“I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.”

We have to give God permission to be present in His fullness. Otherwise we have the human nature to pick and choose what we like and ignore what we don’t. 

Our trembling, trepidation and awe are a key to us knowing Him and He us. 

Thus we will arise and shine as beacons for others and be those who  He knows. He living in us and we in Him.

““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

The illustration shows the memorials of what God has stepped into and not wasted in our lives. Emanating light to push back the darkness.

Six Scriptures that come to mind:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah‬ ‭60:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’” Joshua‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.”” 1 Samuel‬ ‭7:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” Proverbs‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.” Jeremiah‬ ‭33:7-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew‬ ‭7:21-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The song         His Mercy Is More.         Gettys and Others

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