Goodness

 

God promises to work ALL things for the GOOD

 

for those of us who love Him

and have been called by Him

 

He takes our mistakes

our heartache

our everything

 

and brings purpose and good

 

Beauty from ashes

from all that happens in our lives

 

No exceptions

because of unconditional love

 

How unimaginably gracious!

 

 

So, what if you and I sought to do that

for people?

 

What if we were to respond with grace

when wronged,

bringing the good

to that situation?

 

And what if we loved

when it makes more sense

to hate?

 

And what if we took awful circumstances,

and inserted compassion

and truth

instead of criticism?

 

What if we responded with patience

when it isn’t warranted?

 

What if we sought,

by God’s Spirit,

the good

in everything?

 

What if we showed His goodness,

by His power,

with His Light,

in the darkness?

– Susie Stewart

 

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

– Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 

…we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

– Romans 8:28 (MSG)

 

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.

– 2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP)

 

To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.  In their righteousness, they will be like great oak that the Lord has planted for His own glory.

– Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart

 

 

 

The Truth

 

The tension.

It’s everywhere.

The battle is seen, and yet so unseen.

 

And my heart longs to really see each one.

 

And each one wants to be seen.

 

The aggressor, the victim, the marginalized, the misunderstood, the confused, the angry, the hurt,

the human.

 

And I seek HIM.

 

I seek the One who sees all the earth,

and all the people,

and how we are falling apart

and ripping apart at the seams.

 

How we are lashing out at one another,

and hurting one another,

and self-destructing,

 

and blaming Him.

 

And He knows each heart.

Because He is love.

 

And when He walked this earth,

Immanuel,

He looked out at the masses

and He had compassion, and His heart broke.

We were harassed and helpless,

like sheep without a Shepherd.

 

There was a battle

and He knew it.

 

And the battle was not with flesh and blood – with people against people –

but the real battle was spiritual.

 

Spiritual forces,

angelic and demonic,

Deity and satanic,

locked in combat.

Good versus evil.

 

And there was,

and there IS,

a battle for the human mind and heart.

 

Confusion,

hatred,

discord,

violence,

abuse,

isolation,

dullness,

compromise,

doubt,

fear….

 

Truth came in human form,

and He saw through it all.

 

And He had compassion,

and He condemned those that claimed to have the corner market on truth

without truth.

 

And He stood up to temptation

 

with His sights on the goal

 

and He reached the goal

 

and He was silenced……………..

 

And humanity went on with their day

and their next

and their next

not knowing that a precious,

and holy,

and sacred

sacrifice

had been made for each of them.

 

Out of love.

For He is Love.

 

And when my Jesus,

my Jesus,

walked out of that tomb,

He had heaven’s glow.

For the weight of the world,

the weight of sin,

the sting of death,

and condemnation for wrong-doing,

had been conquered with that act.

 

And He had made it so simple!

Follow Him, trust Him, believe that

He

is the only One to save.

 

And He invited everyone to the table.

 

Everyone.

 

And He invited everyone to drink deep of His love and wisdom.

And He invited everyone to freedom from the harassment of evil.

And He invited everyone to walk in truth.

 

Truth.

 

He validated the O.T. writings.

He fulfilled the law.

God with us.

Holiness was finally satisfied with this one act,

perfect,

necessary.

 

And before Jesus

ascended heavenward before their eyes,

He charged His followers with unwavering commitment.

He warned His followers that they would be treated badly,

because although He conquered death,

the battle raged on seen and unseen.

 

Because now it was a race against time

before the end,

 

and the glorious beginning.

 

Evil knew this.

 

And a small contingent of humans

started the word

about the Word,

Indwelled by Spirit,

holy and wise.

 

And people,

all

of the people that were born into this world,

were loved by He who formed them

and who is Love.

 

And the weight of sin on this world,

and the attacks unseen,

and the choices made

that don’t follow He who is Truth,

cause the mind to battle

and cause the enemy to double-up forces

and cause brother to be against brother

 

and looking up

is what we need.

 

And we stare at our feet,

stuck and mired in mud.

 

And we embrace life in the mess.

 

And we go with the crowd.

 

And we delight in our rebellion.

 

And we are unaware….

 

That we are meant to be kept in the dark

by those who are darkness.

And that light and Light are pursuing

and offering a way out

to freedom.

 

And this man, Jesus, who mingled among us,

walked humbly and boldly,

a beautiful combination.

 

Sinners were the ones He moved in and through life with.

But He always offered His righteous hand,

to pull them out of being stuck.

 

Some would grab hold,

some would refuse.

 

And that is still the case.

 

You know the truth.

Know the Truth.

Be set free.

– Susie Stewart

 

“…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free….if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”

– John 8:32, 36 (NLT)

Dusk

 

 

The Light of Jesus has penetrated your darkness.

Has it penetrated your dusk?

He came in and saved you, pulled you out of chaos, oppression, sin, the pit.  There’s no doubt.

Have you allowed Him access to your dusk?  

Negativity has seeped in.

You have chosen not to rejoice.  You have chosen un-joy.  

People are driving you crazy.  Nothing seems to be working.  

Annoyances.

Gossip.

Dissatisfaction.

Discontentment. 

Disrespect.

Dis….

It’s not bright in your soul.  It’s only dusk.  

A partial light.

Hazy, not able to see clearly for the semi-darkness hanging over your heart and mind.  

Why do we long to stay in the dim sometimes?  

“Just let me have a bad day.”

 

A bad day.

 

Every day is sacred.

“This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” 

“Redeem the time for the days are evil.”  

“He is light.  In Him, there is no darkness at all.”

You are LIGHT.  He is in you.  

Holding on to dusk is not what He would have for you.  

Or for me.

Walk in the light. You’ve been pulled out of darkness into His marvelous light!  

Why linger in the shadows.  In the corner.  In the dusk.

Come out into the wide open space and honor Him, glorify Him, seek Him, love Him.

You were never meant to choose dusk.

– Susie Stewart

Image

 

Psalm 118:24, Ephesians 5:16, 1 John 1:5,