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Compared to others

Christianity

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. (Luke 1:39-49 NLT)

I know my shortcomings, my failures and my sin. I know that I’m not good enough, and I look at other Christians and think how much better they are than I. But I suppose that that is exactly where Satan wants me to be! It’s very easy to compare myself with others or with perfection and see how awful I am!

Then I look at really special people and I’m totally amazed. If I feel puny against other Christians, how miniscule I feel against the greats! Mary is an example – a wee girl, a lowly servant girl – and all nations will call her blessed! After all, she carried the baby Jesus inside her, so she should be held in high regard! She is so special – she readily accepts what the angel tells her and moves into the role which God has given her, without a single doubt, without a complaint and with no buts…

But then God reminds me of something. He tells me that he sent the Holy Spirit to me, that I can be filled with his Holy Spirit. I am a carrier too! I have my  shortcomings, my failures and my sin. God sees them and uses them; he takes away my sin. He didn’t choose me because I was perfect: he chose me because I am me. He took notice of me and has plans for me.

I should not compare myself to others – I just need to compare myself to the me he wants me to be and when I fall short of that, I should not call myself unworthy – all I have to do is to strive harder to be worthy. I am only unworthy when I stop trying to be worthy. That’s what Peter did after he had denied Jesus three times – he didn’t focus on his failure, but moved into his purpose.

I am chosen, just as Mary was chosen. I have a purpose, just as Peter had a purpose. God is the I AM, and I am me.

Promises promises

Christianity

Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.
Joshua 21:45 NLT

When paper currency first came into use everyone new that it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. The paper wasn’t the important part – it was the promise that was written on it: I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of £1 sterling. Whoever had the note had a promise that would be kept – turn up at the Bank of England, hand over the note and you will be given silver (sterling) to the value of the note.

That doesn’t work now.

God’s promises are different. They are eternal. They are always kept. 

They work.

Incomparable Help

Christianity

There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendour. The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’
(Deuteronomy 33:26-27 NLT)

My God isn’t like anything or anyone else. Nothing can compare!

Think of all the help desks that we get, who just sit at the end of the phone, some as far away as India. God isn’t like that. He will actively help you, riding across the heavens to do it. He isn’t gone the minute you put the phone down, he’s eternal, always there. He isn’t aloof: his everlasting arms are under you, supporting you. And the best thing is that he doesn’t just fix your problem, he drives it out and destroys it!

Incomparable!

Spread it around

Christianity

Libby and I are very alike in a lot of ways, but in some we are totally different. Spreading butter is one of the things in which we are different. Libby spreads very carefully and makes sure that she covers every bit of the bread, right up to the edges. She perhaps has this feeling that if she misses a bit then it won’t taste the same. Not me – I go for speed. Get as much on, over as large an area as you can, then take a huge bite, on the assumption that there will be the right amount of butter and bread in the gob, and just mix it all up as you chew. Fast food.

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Where there’s a will

Christianity

Are you a procrastinator? I don’t know whether I am or not – I’ll tell you tomorrow.
We probably all are, to some extent, some of us more expert at it than others. It will always depend on the issue at hand, I suppose.

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