23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
SHINE ON, O GOODNESS OF GOD!
by Clare Watts
A.W.Tozer wrote this years ago, but I am going to RE-write it from MY heart as it so applies to me likewise....
"Because I, by nature and conduct have been the worst woman that ever lived, I want God to do more for me than for any woman that ever lived. I have a right to ask that because where sin abounds, grace does SO MUCH MORE abound. And if the goodness of God specializes in hard cases, and if the goodness of God can shine brighter against the dark sky, I will provide the dark sky. Shine on, O goodness of God." (My personalization of A.W. Tozer's writing in "Delighting in God")
Often we find it difficult to come to terms with God's promise of forgiveness of our sins, and condemnation and judgment sit heavily on our shoulders, especially if we KNOW that our fallen nature over-ruled the righteousness that we have been determined to walk in. Bad choices, the flesh, temptation, the sense that God isn't REALLY interested in "me" make us feel as if we have lost our sense of direction. We FORGET that it is by the grace of God we ARE saved, BECAUSE in His love for us and His desire that NONE should perish but that ALL should come to Him and live, He died to make that a REALITY. That IS the REALITY. Would He abandon that which He died to save? He has promised with the most amazing promise that He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us... We hide in the darkness, but we SHOUT, "SHINE ON! SHINE ON Oh goodness of God!
"Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.....What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?.....And God is able to make ALL GRACE ABOUND TOWARDS YOU, that you, always having ALL sufficiency in ALL things, MAY HAVE AN ABUNDANCE FOR EVERY GOOD WORK!" (Rom.5:20. 6:1, 2 Cor.9:8)
Oh, the GOODNESS of God towards us - unworthy, undeserving, but SO thankful! Amen.
by Vivian Worley
All of us have been “down on ourselves” at one time or another. Like David in Psalms 8:4-8; we wonder who we are that God is mindful of us, that he would visit us and crown us with glory and honor! (?) This is none more truer, than in a season of transition where we are struggling to cast off some last pieces of cocoon, so that the inner work He has been doing can be revealed to all.
It can be easy to fall into a state of depression. We yearn to be free of this covering that has kept us tightly wound and isolated. In the latter stage it is even more difficult not to focus on ourselves, becoming critically & acutely aware of our limitations, shortcomings and fallen nature to the point we despair even of life.
Perhaps you are in such a season. Well, God has a word for you: “Good.” While we are focused on the state/stage we are in, He is looking at the person He created when you were being cocooned in the womb-at the beginning. Consider that first beginning in Genesis chapter one where the earth was made; it was without form and void and darkness covered it. As God spoke to His creation it took on lightness & darkness, it began to produce vegetation, waters formed and life swam in it-it had a nature and He declared it as good.
Lastly He created man in His image and likeness to have dominion over all the earth, to be fruitful and multiply and God saw everything that He had made and said (my favorite part) “It is very good.”
We are very good, you and I-who are made in His image and likeness! He views the same way He views Himself-without conceit of thought, as very good. Does that thought strike you as it did me? There is NO hatred-including self hatred in Him! Be reminded and encouraged by His truth of how He sees you, let it sink in today as you look at the resemblence of your Father in you. ~Selah
He lured me into the wilderness,
To speak comfort to me there;
Removed from me my coverings,
I stood before Him bare.
Then He brought me to the vineyard
To abide with Him in the vine;
That the outer be pressed by the Spirit,
So I can be filled with new wine.
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Betrothed to be His wife;
Putting on His righteousness,
To walk with Him in white.
One day I’ll receive new wineskins,
Be fully clothed in the Spirit;
Having put off the garments stained with sin,
Eternal fullness of life to inherit.
Vivian Worley 12.22
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”