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Monday, February 15, 2010

A Bag Full of Love


This post is in honor of Rachel Olsen's devotion carnival, where she asked us to write a devotion that had to do with love. Since I am lazy, I went back into my archives of old devotions and found this one. Some of you might have read it before, and some of you might be reading it for the first time. Maybe God will prompt you to create a bag full of love for someone He lays on your heart today! (This is a great little gift to hand out in a Sunday school class, small group, Bible study, etc.) Surprise someone with a bag full of love this week!

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

A few years ago I received a small gift bag filled with the following items: a birthday candle, a page from a calendar, a list of words, a thread, and a picture of a baby. I loved what each item symbolized so much that I wanted to share them with you.

The birthday candle symbolizes that God knew the day you were born. He ordained the circumstances and people who were involved in your birth. He knew what you would look like and who would welcome you. He knew how much you would weigh, what your cry would sound like, and whether you would be bald or have a head full of hair. Psalm 139:16

The page from the calendar symbolizes that each of your days was planned before you were even born. He knew how you would spend your days—what your hobbies and interests would be, what your job would be, and who you would share your days with. He knew the days you would spend honoring Him and the days you would wish you could do over. Psalm 139:2-3

The list of words (which could be a typewritten list or a page from an old dictionary) symbolizes that God knows every word you say before you even say it. The nice words and not-so-nice words. The angry words and the words of encouragement. The times you should have held your tongue and the times you thought of the right words to say hours too late. When you spoke up for Jesus and when you chickened out. Psalm 139:4

The thread represents the hairs on your head, which the Bible tells us are numbered. Straight hair or curly hair, red hair or gray hair, real or bottled. God knows every detail of you, His marvelous creation. He counts your freckles, knows the ridges on your fingernails, and sees the blemishes you try to hide. He truly loves you, warts and all. Matthew 10:30

Finally, the picture of a baby is to remind you that He knit you together in your mother’s womb. He knows you better than your parents, your spouse, your children or your friends. He knows the parts you don’t show anyone else. He sees the tears no one else sees. He hears the dreams and frustrations no one else hears. He knows you, inside and out. Psalm 139:13

The Bible assures us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. I once read that the word “wonderfully” in the Hebrew is palah, which means “to distinguish, to be set apart.” God created each one of us to be unique and distinct in some way. We each have a special destiny only we can fulfill. In a world of comparisons and keeping up with impossible standards, it is so easy to forget that our uniqueness is His gift to us. Too often we see it as a curse.

Psalm 139:14 says “I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God wants us to praise Him for the way that He made us. He wants us to celebrate the little details He thought of. My friend bought a tee shirt for her little boy that said, “When God Made Me, He Was Just Showing Off.” Oh, that we could all feel His pleasure in us to that extent! That we could praise Him for how He created us instead of complaining about it. I love that the contents of these bags help us to focus on God’s love for us, a love that exceeds our limited understanding, a love that goes far beyond skin deep.

Dear Lord, You love me and You created me exactly as You intended. I confess that sometimes I forget that. Help me to see what You had in mind when You fashioned me. Help me to remember that You have set me apart for Your purpose. Thank You for that reminder today, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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6 comments:

Happy Four said...
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Happy Four said...

Thank you for sharing this great idea. I have a close friend who turns 40 later this month and this will be a wonderful item to prepare with love for her.

Marybeth, so frequently I am prompted to pray for your dear family.

Miss Sandy said...

MaryBeth,

I would love to have your permission to make a copy of this devotion for private use. As I sat here and read it, it ministered to some deep and hurting places in my heart. I needed to be reminded of God's deep and abiding love for me just as I am. I am a mixed media artist and freelance writer. As I read these words I could see an art piece form in my mind to exemplify all these precious promises and I would be honored if I might use this devotion as an inspiration for it. I may be contacted at srpbabb@gmail.com

Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Blessings on your day!

Sandy Babb

Katie said...

I absolutely love this and will be saving it to send to a friend who is having a difficult time. Thank you so much =)

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

This is a wonderful idea. As always, I enjoyed your blog.

Kitty @ Four Little Toms and a Mom said...

Beautiful devotion, Marybeth. Thank you!