4 08 2008

I want to share something with you that was very, very special to me.  You all know the verse that says “All things work for good for those who love the Lord and who are called according to his purpose?”  Romans 8:28.  Everybody likes to quote that at you whenever something bad happens.  It’s annoying.

But in my devotional last night, that little section jumped out at me.  Because it doesn’t end there.  It doesn’t just say that eventually we’ll see that all this misery was for our own good.  It says, “For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Translation: God looked ahead, before I was even born, and saw me coming.  And, knowing me and the trouble I was going to get into, he predestined me to be made just like Jesus.  He wrote it down in his daytimer something like this: “Make something really special out of Angela- use everything that happens in her life to make her look and act like Christ.  Don’t overwhelm her, but work on it.”

The verses go on to add, “And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.”

He looked ahead and saw me.  He made sure and certain plans to save me.  Then he called me to himself.  It took several years, but he just kept on calling until I finally said, “Yes, Lord?”  Then he justified me.  Justified means “To declare free of blame, to absolve.”  It also means to post bond for, and to straighten out.  First he bailed me out, then he got me off the charges, and then, just to polish things up, he went back in time and made me innocent to begin with!

And finally, finally, the part that made me cry… those he justified, he also glorified.  Isn’t that beautiful?  Not satisfied with cleaning me up, he had to make me beautiful, too.  He had to decorate my heart, embellish my life, establish my position, and enrich my experience.  I went to sleep last night thinking, “I am being glorified!  I am being glorified!”

I don’t need to make excuses for myself any more- he’s made all the excuses necessary.  And he’s gone out of his way to make me look good on top of it!

I don’t know what more to say- can you understand this?  He really, really loves you, no matter where you are on his to-do list.  Is he looking ahead and seeing what you’ll be ten years from now?  Is he making plans for you?  Is he calling you to his arms, to his heart?  Is he washing off all your shame and guilt?  And now, clean and ready, is he embroidering glory onto your life?

I love the way God makes me feel loved.  Nobody else can do it like he does!




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