All for Jesus......

Jesus - all for Jesus. All I am, and have, and ever hope to be.
Jesus - all for Jesus. All I am, and have, and ever hope to be.

All of my ambitions, hopes and plans - I surrender these into your hands.
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans - I surrender these into your hands.

For it's only in your will that I am free.

For it's only in your will that I am free.

Jesus - all for Jesus.
All I am, and have, and ever hope to be.

One of the many fundamental questions that we must ask ourselves if we claim to follow Jesus is 'do I really trust Jesus or not?' We say we trust Jesus for our salvation and all that brings - but do we really trust him with our life right here, right now - or do we think we know better?

Do I take the risk of trusting him totally - being prepared to abandon my 'ambitions, hopes and plans'? Will I seek his voice, his lead, his his way - even if it doesn't fit my wants, my desires, my 'rights'?

The irony is that when I think I know what is best for me - when I seek to create my life in my way but then creep to him and ask for a blessing on what I have created - it doesn't bring peace at all - quite the opposite........

The beauty is that when I am brave enough to surrender all into his hands, however reluctantly, painfully or costly - then I get a taste of the 'peace beyond all understanding' which I crave.

" everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. " Philippians 4 (New International Version)

Every year at YFC we pray this prayer -
maybe once a year isn't enough though -

maybe it's an every day thing..................

I am no longer my own - but yours.
Put me to what you will - rank me with whom you will.
Put me to doing - put me to suffering,
Let me be employed for you - or laid aside for you.
Exalted to you - or laid low for you.
Let me be full - let me be empty
Let me have all things - let me have nothing
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal

And now - glorious and blessed God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit
You are mine, and I am yours,
So be it.
And the covenant made here on earth,
may it be ratified in heaven


Dirty Fingernails

"God looked over everything
He had made;

it was so good, so very good"
Genesis 1:31

I have spent today transforming my garden. After weeks of procrastination an impromptu visit to the garden centre was all it took for inspiration to strike, and now what was once a dull square has become a riot of colour. I am tired, grubby and have very dirty nails, but the garden now makes me smile every time I look at it.

If I get this much pleasure from creating a tiny garden - how broad was the smile of God as He created the universe and everything in it?

Sneak Preview............

I read something this week that made me realise that I’d never really thought about how big the place that we call the ‘garden of Eden’ must have been.

“God blessed them and said, 'Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.' Then God said, 'Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.'”

God gives Adam and Eve the run of the whole earth – not a small confined space that restricted their lives – an amazing choice of food and surroundings. Even the special garden that God plants and asks Adam to look after must have been huge as it contained many trees to choose from and a river flowed from it, there’s no indication it was small!

“Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit........ The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 1 The Bible

God gave Adam and Eve loads of trees to choose from – an ‘eat all you like buffet’ of amazing variety and choice. Only one thing was off the menu. You’d have though that with all that choice it wouldn’t have been a problem. The forbidden tree should have been quickly forgotten as Adam & Eve indulged in all the other amazing things on offer. But no – even with all those other options that God had provided for their good – Adam and Eve ended up wanting only the one thing they couldn’t have.

How often are we like that? Even though we know God has provided so much for us, we would rather mess with things that we know He doesn’t want for us. How often do we go after what is ‘off the menu’, rather than enjoy all that God provides for our good?

Why do we always want what we shouldn’t have?

Sometimes it’s obvious - too much drink, sex outside marriage, drugs, pornography or other people’s things. But other things are more subtle – we’re jealous of what other people have, their responsibility, their partner, their respect, their life.........

Instead of enjoying and exploring the unique life we have been given – our ‘garden of Eden’- we trade it for envying what other people have.

We may not go as far as eating from the forbidden tree – but we’d actually really like to and spend too much time thinking about it, plotting to get it or being angry that we don’t have it...........

God has given you your own unique ‘life-garden’ to explore, enjoy and live out

What is it for you that destroys your delight in what you have, by tempting you to seek after what is not yours to take?

ps - why 'sneak preview'? Because you got to see it before it appears here!

Caught in a trap.............

"We can't go on together
with suspicious minds.
And we can't build our dreams
on suspicious minds"
Suspicious Minds
Written by Mark James sung by Elvis Presley

Sometimes I get quite suspicious of God...............

I hope you're not too shocked by that - because actually I think we all do. Although we hear God speak of his amazing love for each one of us in the bible, we often struggle to accept it for ourselves.

Although I know God has provided for me in the past, I too often worry about the future.
I say God is my joy, but too often I struggle to believe he will make me happy in the future - so I look to myself and others to make me happy.

I believe God is the great healer, but sometimes I feel my present hurt is too big - even for him.
I call to him about specific things, and then get suspicious when he answers and provides........

Me: I can't do this.....
God: I know - let me.

Me: Help me.....

God: Yes.

Me: I can't.... will you do it?

God: It's done.
Me: Oh you've done it - but have you really done it? Am I just imagining it? Is there a catch? I should really have done it....

Which is of course all nonsense!
I'm in good company though
- an entire generation of Israelites missed their chance in the promised land because of their grumbling and lack of trust. They became suspicious towards God and the end result was more wandering.
Totally trusting God is often a daily decision rather than something that comes 'naturally'. Each day we need to refuse to listen to the thoughts or emotions that cause us to doubt God’s heart of love towards us and instead commit ourselves to resting in his care.

God loves me - he shows me every day how much he loves me. All I have to do is turn again to the crucified, risen Jesus - heaped with my sin, my shame, my mess to regain my sense of perspective.
Transformation is done one day at a time - and one battle of trust at a time.

Knowing God proclaims “Not Guilty!” over me and my messy life is the thing that holds my trust together. It's already done, it can't be undone, changed or withdrawn. God won't get tired of me - he knows and understands where, when, how and why my trust wobbles........

So instead of giving in to our suspicious minds, why don't we decide every day to hang on in there - let's just get on with living out the lives of infinite possibility God has prepared for each one of us!