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unmerited favor

In my own weakest moments, I have never wondered if God exists. I have never ceased being grateful for all the things He has already done for me. But I do frequently wonder why He loves me, and I am often convinced that I do not deserve any action by Him on my behalf. Then I realize all over again that I have never “deserved” any of the blessings I have received. I could never earn, have never earned anything. The most powerful work of God in my life is His grace—absolute and unmerited. He gives me life because He loves me, and He loved me “while I was yet a sinner (Rom 5:8)” and “while I was alienated and an enemy in my mind by wicked works (Col 1:21).” Once I realize the magnitude of His grace and love towards me, I can once again approach the throne with boldness to ask what I need—healing, provision, encouragement, or protection. I can have absolute confidence that He is more than able to say yes to my needs, and if He chooses to say no, then I can trust that there is a greater good that needs working through.

Holy God, Maker of the Universe, let me never hold the false belief that I have “arrived” spiritually. Let me always strive for more of You in my life, more of Your word in my heart, more of Your Spirit moving through me so that I can come to know You better…every single day.

Anvil of God

Men’s souls are shaped on the anvil of God under the pressure of circumstance. It is only by bathing ourselves in the fire of His presence that we can become malleable enough to be molded into the shape He designed for us from the very beginning. Being hammered upon without enough heat to enable change will only break us to pieces in the end.

Seek God in the glory of His goodness as Moses did, so we can display His unspeakable Love by our submission to the process. He designed all the happenings in our lives for each of us to be conformed to the image of Christ that is unique to the shape within our own DNA and brought to completion only in Him. It is not about shaping us into something unnatural, but is about bringing who we are intended to truly be out of our hidden core and into the Light for others to see. Only then can we be the perfect implement for His hand to wield…whether a sword in battle or a plow to till the field.

Posted on LinkedIn as a response to a recommendation to read

I’m a pretty avid reader (think 3-5 books a week), and I have been since I was five years old. The thing that trips me up about that is that I have found my time consumed by books that DON’T MATTER in the grand scheme of things, primarily because my favorite reading material is sci-fi/fantasy with mystery/thriller/action books a close second. Those things are just stories about fictional characters, and it’s just another kind of addiction/method of escapism. I know this. I have known this for years and years.

I do read non-fictional books as well, although not as many. 98% of those are Christian in nature. When I do read those, I find God speaking to me in a lot of different ways… but even those have not helped me as much as the people recommending those books thought that they would, or that I thought they would (help me, that is).

What I have found, though, is that reading the scripture gives me an almost tangible sense that God is breathing new life into me. Even if it’s something I’ve read repeatedly hundreds of times in my life time (Psalm 23 for example). When I’m desperate for a touch from the Lord, I don’t pick up a book that some really anointed (no sarcasm at all here!) spiritual leader has written. I do go back to the basics and reread the book of Genesis, or Isaiah, or various Psalms, or the gospels, or some of Paul’s letters, or even Revelation (especially when I need hope).

I realize the value in reading, and it is a sorely neglected skill. DO read. Do read recommended books. Maybe something that spoke to the person making the recommendation will speak to you. But first and foremost, READ THE BIBLE. It was my favorite storybook when I was a child, and that’s exactly how I think people forget to read it. We’re always looking for something from God in a verse that we want to speak to us, relevant to our situation. We’re usually studying it to dig out deeper meanings or to find support for things we feel God has put on our hearts.

How often, though, do we just sit down and simply read HIS story? It’s the story of His glory… how often He showed up and moved or spoke or breathed into a situation and changed that situation by simply being there. If you can just take it in, over and over again, then without even intending to do so by human effort, you will find yourself hiding His word in your heart.

Today was one of those days when I woke up flat on my back and couldn’t get up. I couldn’t do anything but lay there and cry for a few hours. But when I talked to the Lord, the scriptures whispered back to me. When I said, “I can’t handle this, Lord,” He said, “My grace is sufficient.” When I thought of how dark my life looks right now, Psalm 23 wandered through my heart: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.” When I just wanted to scream that despair was overwhelming me, I heard, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” Even now, I keep hearing, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Reading matters. Reading the Word matters even more–not just to obtain something for a sermon or a song, not just to find an answer for an argument against Christianity, not just to find something that speaks to us when we’re looking for answers, but just because IT’S GOD’S WORD. When we know it well, He DOES use it to speak back to us when we need it, and He can use it to speak through us for someone else’s benefit in song, sermon, or just daily conversation.

Hope this has been helpful for someone.

About Comments

So, just in case anyone thinks otherwise, here’s a bit of news:

  • I welcome real, valid comments from real, valid users, and I would, in fact, be interested in feedback, comments, or input on ANY of my writings.
  • ALL COMMENTS are moderated before being posted.
  • Any of the above-mentioned types of comments will be posted, regardless of my feelings on the content… read: I do not screen out negative input. I value each person’s opinion and welcome discussion.
  • Comment SPAM is not permitted and is immediately marked for deletion as such. Quit, already!!
  • Due to the comment spam, I have marked any posts older than 14 days as closed for comments. That being said, however, anyone who wants to give me valid feedback on anything is welcome to email me via my contact form and I will post it then.

Again, please do send me your thoughts, feelings, and opinions on my writings. I would love to hear from you.

Thanks to everyone for your indulgence in this matter.

Respectfully yours, Cara Colleen Coble

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Healing King

The Healing King by Cara Colleen CobleThe Healing King is officially published and available for purchase! I am including two links here. The first is to the Createspace estore where you can order the paperback version. Although the paperback is also available on Amazon (under my full name), I receive a larger royalty from the estore purchases. The second link is for the Amazon Kindle version, for those of you who would prefer to have it electronically. Many of you have asked about it, and I am grateful. May the book bless you as you read it!

Paperback version: https://www.createspace.com/3710453
Kindle version: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083J4LQE

Psalm 73:25,26

Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon the earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Promises


Perfect Love

Perfect Love casts out fear

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

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