But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not .. John 8:6

The Voices Without
Before the beginning of time, I knew what a blessing you would be. I knew what color your eyes would be, and I could hear the sound of your laughter. Like a proud father who carries a picture of his son or daughter, I carried the image of you in My eyes, for you were created in My image. Before the beginning of time, I chose you. I spoke your name into the heavens, and I smiled as the blessing of its melody resounded off the walls of My heart. You are Mine. My love and blessing for you extends farther than the stars in the sky and deeper than any ocean. You are My pearl of great price, the one for whom I gave everything. I cradle you in the palm of My hand. I love you even in the face of your failure. Nothing you say or do can cause Me to stop loving you. I am relentless in My pursuit of you. Run from Me – I will love you. Spurn Me – I will love you. Reject yourself – I will love you. You see, My love and blessing for you was slain before the foundations of the world and I have never regretted the sacrifice I made for you at Calvary. When I see every part of who you are, I marvel at the work of My hands, for I whispered words of longing and desire and you came into existence. You are a beautiful blessing, and I take pleasure in you – heart, mind, and body. You are My desire. When you turn your head in shame and despise what I have made, still I reach for you with gentle passion. You are My beloved and I am yours.

(A compilation from Psalm 149:4; Song of Solomon 6:3; & 7:10; Isaiah 43:1; Matthew 13:46; Ephesians 1:4; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 13:8;)


Why Jesus came, calling all disciples…

A New Perspective
Growing spiritual fruit requires a transformation of the mind because what I think and believe determine how I act. Accordingly, the more I study the Word and put it into action, the more I am transformed into the image of Christ. The more I pursue Christ, the more I see life in proper perspective. A blessing. A paradox of Scripture is that the more we bind ourselves to Christ, the more freedom we enjoy. Believing this paradox requires a shift in perspective. Enacting this paradox requires a shift in priorities. Cultivating the fruit of the Spirit requires work. Often we convince ourselves that changing physically is easier than developing spiritually. After all, a new hairstyle doesn’t require that I find the weak areas of my character and allow God to push me to change. But a new hairstyle doesn’t free me from the unrealistic expectations of worldly beauty. Neither does losing 10 or 15 pounds. In contrast a new perspective and new priorities make me free indeed. After listing the spiritual fruit that I am to cultivate, Paul added “Against such there is no law.” Tending to the growth of spiritual fruit takes me from slavery to a freedom blessing. To find this freedom, I must shift my perspective from the mirror of the world to the mirror of the Word. Trying to find beauty in the mirror of this world will leave me broken and lost. But losing myself in the mirror of the Word will reveal the greatest beauty ever known.

(Nehemiah 8:10; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 6:6-7; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 3:16-17; & 5:8-10; 2 Peter 1:5-8)


I AM the way, the truth, and the life…

The Voices Within
The voices within thrive upon weakness. But a deeper message is waiting to be heard. We were made for something more. God is to be our strength, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. In our battle against the voices within and without, we must recognize important truths. We must allow the words that we hear from others to be filtered through Scripture, which indicates the thoughts on which we are to dwell. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Constructive criticism has its place, but accusations of failure and inadequacy do not. When we hear what others say about us and about themselves, we must determine whether our rehearsal of those comments will strengthen or undermine our understanding of who we are in Christ. We must learn to identify the words spoken by the one who seeks to destroy our souls. Satan is a liar. We know that he comes only “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” Lies. All lies. When we call them what they are, they lose their power and the truth becomes clearer. God longs for us to know His beauty, but we must choose how to respond to the voices we hear.

(Proverbs 3:3-16; Matthew 4:1-11; Romans 8:5-8; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Philippians 4:8-9; John 10:10; Colossians 3:1-4)

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. ~ Jeremiah 1:5


H/T: Discovery Series (Daily Bread) – Regina Franklin and “Transformed in His Image”

And: Gerard Vanderleun and his American Digest


Face of Jesus by Richard Hook

Soli Deo Gloria!