God’s Building Plans

When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13A-14 NIV

First I want to give a big thank you to Alan of Devotional Treasures for inspiring me to get out of my funk. We’ve been dealing with a lot of serious health issues here with our two daughter-in-laws as some of you know. The one who was in the hospital with Covid is now home and gradually improving. The other is about to begin chemo for the same ovarian cancer that my wife battled through three years ago. Thanks for those of you who have prayed. I thought I would share today the encouragement God gave me while I was out for my walk yesterday.

Our lives seemed like a construction project that was being completed right on time; when these unexpected difficulties came and slapped a stop work order on our door. The inability to do a thing has been frustrating because it made me realize that in reality I am not in charge at all. It is easy to just blame the devil as some sort of evil building inspector, but God reminded me that His Holy Spirit in my heart is His guarantee that no matter how things look, everything is under His control. His guarantee is not really a down payment as a few translations render the word- because God has the resources to pay off our mortgage in full. Instead the Holy Spirit’s presence is like the deposit which we make on a home we wish to buy. That small amount of our money is our promise to the seller that we will pay their entire asking price once the lender runs our credit and sees that our finances are in order. The good news for us is that God is the buyer with the highest credit rating in the universe!

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Now, think of your darkest moment. At the time when nothing has worked out, your plans have been frustrated and your world turned upside-down, God guarantees that we are still His. He has bought us, by paying the full price of our sins with the precious blood of Jesus. Now the title to our hearts belongs to Him. Though we face very real troubles in this life, God’s Holy Spirit has not nor will He ever abandon us. That tiny spark of His life in us is – that guarantee of our inheritance – is like the Spirit of God that overshadowed Mary. So be patient because just as Mary carried that spark for nine months inside her, trusting that God’s promise was true, so we can trust Him to keep His promise to us. He has promised that we are His and that He will finish the building project of our souls right on time and precisely according to His plan!

Shrouded in Mystery

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27  KJV

One of the greatest religious mysteries of modern times is the story of the shroud of Turin. The shroud’s history is a bit uncertain though its present location in Turin Italy since 1578 is fairly well accepted. That the shroud carried the images which we know of today was not commonly known till the late 1800’s. There have been films, treatises and television reports made supporting various conclusions about the origins, authenticity and meaning of the shroud. One thing is clear however from the debate: no one’s mind will be easily changed about who Jesus truly is, simply by an historical artifact. Just before He went to the cross, Jesus rose from the Last Supper table and began to wash His disciples’ feet saying:

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. John 13:14 KJV

Yes Jesus did leave us a living artifact behind: and it wasn’t an article of clothing. He left us His spirit to live on the inside us, where it could never grow old, be destroyed or forgotten. Yes there is a great biblical mystery on display today.  But this mystery is not whether the face of Jesus can be seen in the shroud of Turin but rather that His face can be seen in us!

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Till Journey’s End

Our part is to wait by faith

His is to restore

To us is given to believe

In Christ the risen Lord

Our part is to hope each day

And His the Spirit send

Our part is to run the race

His to keep

Till journey’s end!

Acts 1:4 KJV …but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

Till Journey’s End by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2021 All rights reserved. Use by permission only