3/10/06

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #1)

 

“I Am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made”

Melissa Taylor, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  (NIV)

 

Devotion:

If you were asked to describe yourself, what would you say?  Most of us would probably be modest and humble in our responses, answering something like, “Oh, I’m 5’4’’ and have blondish-brown hair,” or “I’m just a mom,” or “There’s not much to me; I’m just a plain old girl.”  It’s hard for most, including myself, to accept a compliment.  Just yesterday, my neighbor told me how good my hair looked.  Instead of saying, “Thank you”, I replied, “Do you think?  It’s a frizzy mess in all this rain!”  Why do we do this?  Why not respond with a hearty, “thank you,” and accept the compliment?

 

I’ve noticed when I give someone a compliment, often I get a response that negates the compliment I just gave (like my example above).  Not so with my four-year-old daughter, Hayley Grace.  I’ll tell her, “Hayley Grace, you look beautiful today.”  She’ll say back, “I know Mommy, I am ‘blutiful’.”  Then I’ll ask, “How did you get so beautiful?”  Everytime she says, “Because God made me that way.”  She believes it too.  When do we lose the belief that God made us beautiful?  Do you believe that about yourself?  Did you ever?

 

Hayley Grace believes that because that’s what we, her Mommy and Daddy, have told her.  There’s no reason for her to believe any differently.  She trusts us.  Oh, how I pray that she’ll always believe that.  Realistically though, I know that won’t be easy.  Once she begins comparing herself to others or listening to a voice that doesn’t speak truth, she’ll question if she really is beautiful.  I know that because I struggle with it daily myself.

 

Hayley Grace recently brought home a picture from preschool that she made.  To me it looked like a baked potato with legs and a smile.  I asked her to tell me about this lovely creation she made.  She said in a very proud voice, “It’s a picture of you, Mommy.  Isn’t it ‘blutiful’?”  Of course, I replied, “Oh, yes it is.”  This picture I viewed with question, was viewed by its maker as a masterpiece.  She was so proud of it.

 

Our Maker, our Creator, the One who designed us, views His creations (us) the same way.  He didn’t goof up when He made us, because He is a perfect God incapable of making mistakes.  What we may view as flawed, unworthy, unlovely, or imperfectly made, He views as “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

 

Just like I had to ask the creator of my picture to tell me about it in order to get the truth and facts about her masterpiece, I also need to ask my Creator the truth and facts about me.  Well, I did, and this is what He had to say.  By the way, He says the same thing about you too!

 

“I made you, I created you.”   (Psalm 119:73)

“I will bring you unfailing love and comfort, just as I promised.”  (Psalm 119:76)

“I will watch over you.  I will not sleep.”  (Psalm 121:3)

“You are my gift to the world.”  (Psalm 127:3)

“I don’t keep a record of your sins.”  (Psalm 130:3)

“I will work out MY plans for your life.  I will not abandon you, for I made you.”  (Psalm 138:8)

“I have examined your heart and I know everything about you.”  (Psalm 139:1)

“I made every part of you.  I knew you before you were born.”  (Psalm 139:13)

“I made you wonderful.” (Psalm 139:14)

“I know the plans I have for you.  I have plans for you to prosper and not to bring you harm.  I have plans to give you hope and a future.  You will call on Me and come and pray to Me.  I will listen to you.  When you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me.”  (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

 

Want to know the honest-to-God truth about yourself?  Don’t ask someone else, and don’t ask yourself.  Ask the One who made you Himself.  You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” my “blutiful” sister, and don’t ever forget it!

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Thank You for loving me and making me for Your unique and special reason.  I know I serve a great purpose in Your Kingdom because You made me.  Forgive me when I forget that and forgive me for listening to what others think of me.  Help me to feel Your love today and equip me to give that love to all those I come in contact with.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Read over the verses that say what God thinks of you this morning and again tonight before you go to bed.  Do this daily until you believe them.  Write in a journal how it makes you feel to be loved this much!

 

Reflection Points:

Am I comparing myself with others?

 

Do I like myself?

 

Do I believe that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”?  Why?  (Because God said so that’s why!)

 

Power Verses:

1 Samuel 16:7b, “…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  (NIV)

 

Romans 8:1, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”  (NLT)

 

Romans 8:31b, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”  (NLT)

 

Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will work out his plans for my life---for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.  Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”  (NLT)

 

Resources:

The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_ultimateMakeover.htm

 

Every Woman’s Battle, by Shannon Ethridge

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_everyWomans.htm

 

Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldridge

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_captivating.htm