All Lives Matter

All Lives Matter

Psalm 139:17-18 (NLT) How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

My heart is grieved this morning. My head just cannot seem to wrap itself around the thought of another young person who could not find a reason to live any longer. I work with the young people in our church. Every Sunday night they lug in heavy baggage. The enemy has hung heavy tags on them. Names and labels that do not apply as he weighs them down in an effort to overtake them. How could a recent high school graduate ready for college enjoying the summer decide in moment of haste that life is suddenly too much to bear or that their own life is worthless? I do not understand it. When I look at them I see promise and potential that is too wonderful not to watch. I find joy in their laughter and sorrow in their tears as they grow up right before me. Why can’t they see the light they are in the darkness? How come they do not understand that the world is a better place with them and just to wait for this moment to pass? Do they understand the wealth of human worth in a single individual created by Awesome God?

I was introduced to Psalm139 as a teenager by my Sunday school teacher. I share it often with those who struggle to understand their very nature by design. Created with value, conceived in worth, every human being possesses a soul that has the potential to be reunited with God the Father and filled with His Spirit. Perhaps, if people could understand their worth from birth rather than spending their whole life trying to make themselves worth something, people would invest in their souls again rather than giving them away to lesser things that take bits and pieces from them.

It is not parent’s fault that children do not understand their own value. We pour into our children with the intent to make their childhood better than our own. What are we giving them? Everything this world has to offer? Do we allow them to “do” everything we did not get to do as a child? Maybe working overtime just to provide their basic needs, drained from giving from a well that has retained nothing to replenish itself, life becomes an overwhelming cycle that does not end well. Today, I intend to attempt to break this cycle with the Word of God and His Spirit. I pray that as you read these words today that they do not strike fear in your heart, but cause you to examine your heart for God’s Love so that we can love others until we all get so wrapped up in the Love of God that rate of loss due to carelessness falls dramatically and the Light of Love captures and captivates our heart once again.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex. Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Do you thank God for how He made you? Just as you are, you are precious to God. He calls you His Masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10) You are an original who lives in a world that embraces conformity and not originality. Those who dare to be who they are created to be our considered to be mavericks and rebels who defy society norm. They are not welcomed in a culture comprised of groups labeled by perception. It is in loneliness and isolation one of two choices arise. Conform or be isolated – it is all up to you.

Yet there is a God who loving created me in perfection as I am created in the Image of God. (Genesis 1:27) I am a finished and completed work established in the Grace and Mercy of God founded in Jesus Christ. Every bit of God’s Perfect Plan and Purpose is available in the decision that God made me. I am like God. I am perfectly designed for His Glory and nothing less. We are in this world but not of it. By attempting to find our place here, we lose our soul.

Every day of my life was recorded before my first breath. This validates the sufficiency of God’s Grace for me because it is prescribed. He knew how many times I would fall down, fail or mess up and provided everything that I need to get back up and headed in the right direction by simply calling on His Name. There is an answer to the question, “Is there more to life than this?” Absolutely. We have eternity in our heart so that we know where we belong. The Lord has given us a measure of faith so we can find our way there.

Ephesians 1:4-6 (NLT) Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

Before I was born, God loved me. He chose me in Christ to be holy and without fault in His Eyes knowing full well that sin would be a part of my life. He chose to give me life at the expense of His Son, Jesus Christ. This means that when God created me – He knew exactly what my life was worth with all the sin and messy imperfections that would demand full payment in the Sacrifice of His Son just for me. He created us knowing that there would be a high price but God did it anyway because it gave Him great pleasure. Oh wow…

My existence pleases God. I wonder if this supernatural truth became the reality on which we lived if the world around us would change. Would people see the value in themselves but pursue the Lord for complete fulfillment rather than racing back and forth between the darkness and light? Could Christianity be more convincing in faith and confident hope? Is it possible that we could see the worth in every other person who we come in contact with rather than dismissing those who do not measure up to our standard or that set forth by the world? I have no idea. Something has to change. We have to decide to the wealth of human worth applying it to ourselves and spreading it over a lost and dying world.

Psalm 139:1-6 (NLT) O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

It all comes down to this…such knowledge is too wonderful for me and too great for me to understand. Most people do not understand God’s Perception of them or the fact that He finds pleasure in them because they know who they are and what they have done. But it is in knowing and becomes relationally involved with Jesus Christ that we can move back into God’s Presence and find ourselves again. God examines our heart and knows everything anyway. What you are doing does not surprise the Lord? Where you go doesn’t startle Him? Nothing is a secret to the Lord, yet in His Word it is clear though our sin separated us from God at one time, nothing can separate us from His Love anymore. (Romans 8:38-39)

“You know everything that I do.” The Lord is omniscient. He knows everything all the time. He is omnipresent meaning He is everywhere at the same time. He has to be. God promised to make good of every detail of our life. (Romans 8:28) He promises to perfect that which concerns us. (Psalm 138:8) He goes before me and falls in behind me. Why? Because His Hand of Blessing rests upon my head.

Psalm 23:6 (NLT) Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

God’s Pursuit of you is never like a fugitive from justice but a father looking for his lost child. He is coming after you with goodness and unfailing love filled with grace and mercy because you are precious to Him. His first thought concerning us is love. Unconditional love that offers goodness and favor to us each day. The world doesn’t love like God loves us. Yet we try to attribute human qualities to limitless loving God. If God was looking to punish us, it would mean that the Grace provided by the life of His Son was not enough. His Grace is enough for you! It is sufficient for me.

“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13) God is for us today. He loves us and pursues us relentlessly with compassion and goodness. It is when we become confident of His Goodness and Grace for us and His Intent of blessing that we begin to see just how much He delights in us. God’s Word tells us who we are in Him. His Spirit seals our heart and mind to accept the Truth and walk in it. As we learn to use these two resourceful tools each day, we will soon become convinced of God’s Love for us which will cause faith and hope to sprout from a once barren heart.

Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

God must transform the way we think so that we no longer copy the behavior and customs of this world but allow His Spirit to mold and shape our heart to accept His Love and bask in the Light of it with confidence. In doing so, it changes one’s perception of self and raises conscious awareness of those who are around us. Your children do not need everything to have a satisfied Jesus. They need moms and dads who know the Love of God and live confidently in it as an example to them. Not that parents will ever be perfect just convinced enough of God’s Love to convince their children of the same. Love those who are close and reach out those around you.

When I was nineteen years old, I worked at a daycare while I attended college. I was on my way home one night and passed the apartment complex where a friend lived. She had dropped out of church and drifted from all her friends. I felt a nudge to go see her but I was already late getting off and rushing home so I could make it to the Wednesday night service. I decided I would get up with her later. Later would never come. I was getting ready to head out to a Bible study when my mom came to tell me that she had taken her life. Now obviously you can understand the associated guilt I felt that I didn’t stop when the Holy Spirit gave me the inkling to do so. I will never know until I meet Jesus if I could have made a difference or if she had a made up mind. There is no point in serving God religiously absent of relationships. His Love for us is relational. Our investment in the Kingdom is collectively defined by relationships. We are all in this together and must find a way to come together to end the senselessness of things.

Week after week after week, I look into the face of sobbing young people who have been convinced that they are insignificant, unloved and unwanted. Many will confide that they have considered ending their life. Every time these words come out of their mouth, I am overcome with overwhelming grief because I see worth, potential and purpose in each one of them. I can sense the Love of God for them as they step into His Presence with child-like faith. We must all come to the Lord with childlike faith. How much more is the perception of their Creator who sees their fulfillment from start to finish? The God who loves us so much that He could not bear to be without us. He goes before us. He comes in behind us. He places His Hand on our head with the intent to bless us in every way. I know these thoughts are too profound to comprehend with a tainted and finite human intelligence but the Truth is still the Truth regardless of our understanding of it or willingness to accept it.

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

In the Word of God, Jesus tells us that in the end times that love will grow cold and sin will be rampant. Well, welcome to the end times. We have to campaign, protest and politicize the fact that “all lives matter”. We must apply this slogan if you will to every area of life. There is life at conception. All lives matter. There are some lives that are a fight from the start. All lives matter. Illness and disease can cause our quality of life to diminish, yet such lives matter. It doesn’t matter what race you are, the sex you were born as or the any other distinguishing characteristic. Your live matters. Your profession or position in life does not determine worth – God called you precious and Jesus paid full price. You can run from God your entire life. Your life still matters. You can go to your dying bed cursing the One who created you. Your live still matters. Your life is not your own. Whether you choose to accept Jesus Christ or reject Him, the freedom you have to be transformed is a gift freely given. You will never be forced to take up your cross and follow Jesus. It is a choice. It is the decision that your life really does matter no matter how this life makes you feel or things that you have done or are yet to do – God says your life matters. It is precious to Him. Our worth and value will never be defined to the world in which we live because we are not of this world. It will never be devalued by sin because His Grace is always enough for me.

Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT) Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

I challenge you today to examine your heart as I will my own. Invite God to search your thoughts and test them to be sure that they are not fearful and anxious but confidently and boldly wrapped up in His Love today. Don’t stop there ask the Lord to point out anything potentially offensive or rebellious. To completely captivate your heart and mind with His Love. If the Holy Spirit nudges you – respond in love. Love everyone. Be kind. Be sensitive. Pay attention. Affirm others you come in contact with. Hold the door. Let them merge into traffic. Do whatever it takes to make love the expression of your life. It brings the Lord pleasure to treat you this way and glorifies His Name when we do the same. You never know it just might make all the difference when we choose to let just one more person know that their life matters. They are valuable and precious to God so we serve them with our life. It may not reach everyone but what if it touches one life or changes one heart, it would be worth it all.

John 13:34-35 (NLT) So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

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