Value Added

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The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:9-10 ESV


It’s tough out there, isn’t it? File that under all time greatest understatements. If you aren’t suffering yourself, you surely know many who are. If we weren’t already convinced of our interconnections with everyone else on the planet, we should be now, as we’ve seen how a new virus can impact the world’s physical and economic health with little respect for national boundaries. If you care to involve yourself in the abundance of finger pointing and opinions found on the various news outlets and social media, you can take your pick. However, if you redirect your focus to what God’s word says about the human condition, you will see evidence of mercy, grace, healing, love, and redemption no matter what trouble we find ourselves in. The beauty and challenge of the Christian walk lies in transforming how we automatically react to events to how God would have us react. There is reason to hope for and expect change for the better, but I believe this hope must be founded on the results gained from submission to God and his will for our lives. If we allow God to have his way with us, I believe the value the Holy Spirit adds to us and draws out of us individually will bring a corporate change in our homes, communities, and world.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10
NLT

When God proved his love for us by sending his Son to be crucified and then raised from the dead, he settled for all time the question of how much value he places on each human life. Yours. Mine. Everyone we will ever meet. I am convinced God has placed particular value within you. But I am also sure that potential value will die, no one will ever see it, and the world will be the poorer if you do not do the work to seek it out, nurture it, and give it life. Each of us have certain gifts. They do not have to look like someone else’s gifts. Indeed, comparing ourselves to others is often the best way to derail our dreams because it’s much easier to see the end product of success than the muddy failure ridden process which often precedes it. You are not too young. You are not too old. You are not too anything to be exactly what God wants you to be. For God to use your gifts and abilities, no matter how significant or insignificant you may now believe them to be, you must see them through the lens of steadfast faith in his eternal design.

Give me eyes
to view myself as you do,
God,
embracing
the ways in which you work.
When has the sculpture
ever told the sculptor,
“No, not there”?
Help me mine, like gold
the value you know within me
Without your help
I would never see it there.


©Joel Tipple 5/17/2020







Blossom To Be

cropped blossom

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17 (NASV)

Did you think you knew better,
blossom to be?
Your gifts are still held within.
You mistakenly guessed your time had passed,
but hoarding the gifts
God gave you is sin.
We were designed for His expression,
His joy made manifest.
He would use each of us to make His church complete,
that we all would share and be blessed.

© Joel Tipple
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