but God…

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

Genesis 50:20 NASB

This is Joseph in Egypt talking to his brothers after their father died.  His brothers were afraid Joseph would try to get revenge on them for selling him into slavery many years before. You can read the story of Joseph beginning in Genesis 37 and continuing in chapter 39 to the end in chapter 50.

This is one of my favorite Bible stories because it has given me hope that God can take difficult circumstances and turn them around and use them for good!

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Save Saeed

Video of Naghmeh Abedini speaking about the imprisonment of her husband Saeed Abedini at the UN Human Rights Council.  Saeed Abedini is an American pastor who is imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith.  Even at this difficult time, she gives a beautiful summary of the gospel.

She says Iran has kept Saeed imprisioned “because Saeed believes in forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ and that whoever accepts this forgiveness of sin can be reconciled to the God of peace and love.  This is the God of peace we are all searching for.”

Please visit  http://savesaeed.org/ for more information or to sign the petition to free Pastor Saeed.

“Rend your Hearts and not your Garments”

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.

Joel 2:12-13 (ESV)

New Life

Photo of Butterfly on Crab Apple Tree Blossoms

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Another Photo of Butterfly on Crab Apple Tree Blossoms

I was looking at these pictures and thought how the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly can be compared to receiving Jesus, the transformation that happens when we open our hearts and have faith in Him.  We are reborn, transformed, given new life.  Our old self dies and we have a new life in Christ.

I also like the way the New Living Translation puts it:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

Dear Lord, Thank you for my new life.  Thank you for transforming me, for taking away the power of sin and death on the cross.

To read more about the life cycle of a butterfly, check out this website: http://www.thebutterflysite.com/life-cycle.shtml

“Remind me who I am to You”

Today I wanted to share the song “Remind Me Who I Am” by Jason Gray.

He sings,

Tell me once again who I am to You, who I am to You

Tell me lest I forget who I am to You, that I belong to You

…I’m the one You love

That will be enough

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.   So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NLT)

I really needed to hear this song recently. I had been reminded of some past sin, of some things that were a part of my life before I became a Christian.  And it seems like not everyone, including many other Christians, can relate.  So I was feeling alone, and like I used to be a bad person. And you know what, part of me was a bad person before I became a Christian, because we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.  But I have been forgiven, transformed, by Jesus’ blood on the cross. Nothing can change that. I am a new person in Christ and the former things have passed away.

And I am definitely not alone. God was reminding me of these things, perhaps to remind me to be humble, perhaps to remind me what’s really important on my Christian walk, maybe something else entirely, but most importantly…who I am to Him. I belong to Him now.

I love this song and this video.  Don’t miss how the signs in pictures change to ‘beloved’.

Have you been transformed by the blood of Jesus?  Then don’t forget who you are to Him.

“Remind Me Who I Am” by Jason Gray