Sunday, December 2, 2007

God's Beautiful And Flawless Diamonds!!

It always blesses and humbles my heart when someone tells me that something I wrote touched their heart; and that they passed it on to others. It encourages me that I am making a difference and that what God gave me (because GOD is the author of all I write - I’m just the vessel He uses to pen His words of wisdom) is blessing others. I’m honored that God would gift me with what He has; and that He would use a person like me to minister to the world!! It’s just AMAZING how he multiplies the blessings; how He touches one heart which, in turn, touches more. The chain just keeps branching out!!

And so, the chain continues with today’s blog…..which I will begin with a bit of clarification…..

I was asked by a few people at church if I was going to write today and I said, “oh yeah!” They also asked me if they could forward it on to others, to which I said “absolutely!!“ No one needs special permission from me to do that. These words aren’t mine; they are GOD’S and He can do what He wants with it!! Everything I write is for the glory of the Lord and in the hope that peoples’ lives and hearts will be touched, changed, and transformed by the love of Christ. I want people to be blessed, and that’s more important to me than staking my claim on my writings, copyrighting them, or seeking credit and glory for myself. I’m just happy to be used of God! So, feel free to copy and paste, forward, and direct people to this blog. (I wholeheartedly encourage it!) I am not in this for me. This is all about HIM! So, everything I write is HIS. It’s inspiration from God’s heart,…. to mine,…to yours. I write what is impressed upon me, and it‘s all God’s doing - believe me!! I couldn’t come up with anything I write on my own. Sometimes, I even read past blogs and feel God touching my heart all over again. Only His Holy Spirit can do that! That kind of power and conviction isn’t my own. Therefore, I declare that every single letter and syllable belongs to God and pray that all the glory will be attributed and accredited to Him. May every word bring honor and glory to His name and I pray that I can be a good ambassador for Him and a good bearer of that precious name.

With that being said, it brings me to the topic of today’s message which (as always) you can hear on our church’s website. Last week’s message, that I emphatically encourage everyone to listen to, is now available for you to hear!! PLEASE, don’t miss this one!!

Anyways, today’s message was about our quality and worth. I know I have had issues of unworthiness and condemnation. I think we have all felt that way sometimes; though some (like me) have had it to the extreme. Thankfully, I was delivered from that last Sunday! We don’t HAVE TO feel that way!! We are children of God, and because of the blood of Jesus, our mistakes are erased and we are perfected!! Romans 8:1 declares that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ! We are meant to be free and to claim our worth in Him!

I suppose that is why I enjoyed Chad’s message so much today (as always!). Chad cleverly compared the subject to diamonds. He spoke of Charles Lewis Tiffany, who was the founder of Tiffany & Co. Now THERE is a man that knows worth, right? I mean, when you are talking about Tiffany diamonds, you are talking about the best there are! Chad said that the New York City newspapers even named him "the King of Diamonds.” (Although, when I looked it up in the wikipedia, that title was attributed to another “founder”: Philip Nathaniel Manning).

Chad proceeded to talk about how a diamond’s presence shows its value. Its presence reflects its worth. He even compared it to when he gave his own wife an anniversary diamond. He said it felt like it was a representation of himself and his own worth. He knew that the diamond wasn’t a perfectly flawless and expensive one, but it was “him” and she loved the diamond just like she loves him.

Chad also talked about the “four c’s” of diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat. For cut, you have either an ideal, fine, shallow, or deep cut. For color, you have colorless, near colorless, faint yellow, very light yellow, and fancy yellow. For clarity, you have internally flawless, very very small inclusions, very small inclusions, small inclusions, large inclusions, and imperfect. And carat, well, that’s the weight. Those are the categories and descriptions, and I won’t get into all the particulars. It’s better when Chad explains it, so you can listen to it for yourself on the website, if you want, when the sermon is uploaded.

The bottom line of it all is that we are all a different kind of diamond. And, I’m sure a lot of us probably feel like there’s no way we are a perfectly flawless and colorless diamond. We all have imperfections; whether they are visible to the naked eye or not. There are a lot of inner imperfections that the world doesn’t often see. However, God sees them all. The good news is that God isn’t looking to exploit and point out all of our “flaws.” Actually, that’s more Satan’s job than anything - because he wants us to be embarrassed and ashamed of ourselves. God’s intention of examining our imperfections, however, is not to magnify our flaws and expose us to the world for judgment. All He is looking for is signs of blood: His Son’s blood. And, it’s because of the blood of Christ that we are cleansed and purified. I like how Chad said that the King of Kings trumps the king of diamonds. ;) Indeed! He is more than we can ever be on our own. The worth He gives us because of His sacrifice is more than we will ever be worth without it!

So,….why the blood? Well, the simple fact is that LIFE is in the blood. (Leviticus 17:11) Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. (Hebrews 9:22). Because of His blood, we have forgiveness for our sins. (Ephesians 1:7) God forgives us not because of His immense love for us, but because of the blood sacrifice that makes atonement for our sins. It’s our faith in the blood of Christ that cleanses and saves us. (1 John 1:7), (Romans 3:25)

We are all flawed diamonds. However, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us of our impurities and makes us into that perfectly flawless and colorless diamond so that His light can shine through us and He can be magnified for all the world to see!! In Him, we become a quality diamond gem that reflects His light!! (2 Corinthians 5:21), (Romans 3:22) In the words of Tom Felger, God is “multi-faceted.” And, as His precious diamonds, we can show the world the many facets of God!

I know I have already blogged plenty, but I still have a couple other things I wanted to note in closing…….

Today was also baptism Sunday. Two teen girls were baptized, one of which is a girl that I know (and am performing with in our church’s Christmas Eve drama). I was especially touched by her testimony, and I liked how she described “dying to self” so that you can “live for Him.” Chad further nailed that point when he told her to let God’s forgiveness motivate her obedience. WOW!! That really caught my attention!! When you are forgiven much, you love much and obedience is the fruit of love.

I’d like to leave you with this video by Matt Redman. He’s singing the song we sang in church today that always leaves me in awe: Nothing but the blood. Listen to the words. Maybe the part where he says “not earthly confidence…it’s only by Your blood” will hit you the way that it hit me today. I was just thinking about how we aren’t confident and bold enough to step up to His throne and declare our worthiness. But, by the blood of Christ, we have that boldness. Our earthly confidence does not, but the confidence that we have in the blood DOES!!

May God bless you all!! Don’t forget to check out last week’s sermon!! Have a great week and remember, Jesus loves you…..and so do I!


Anonymous said...

Melissa, I really enjoyed reading your blog. Chad always has a way of saying things that make you laugh or really thouhtful. Anyway that all for now and can't wait till next week. Love you always, Mitchie Bear

Jen said...

Hey girly
I love your words!
You should be a writer!!

love u.

Melissa said...

I am a writer. LOL Just not a copywrighted/published one....... yet. ;) There's a time and season for everything.