by Marty Celaya
One of the greatest things about waking up every day as a Christian is knowing deep within my heart that the God of the universe constantly has you and me on His mind! It’s awesome to know that He thought of us when He created us, He thinks about us each and every day, and He plans to have us on His mind in the future.
Even though He is the one true God who created the world in six days, He still takes an active interest in our lives. Wow! In a world that is so huge, how can this be? How can a busy God be so concerned with the everyday aspects of our lives?
The answer to these questions can be summed up in the scripture that says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Different Types of Love
Did you know that the Bible communicates four different types of love that mankind gives and receives? The first type of love comes from the Greek word eros. This is the passionate love God created between a husband and a wife. The second type of love is phileo. This is known as a brotherly love between friends. The third love is storge, a somewhat deeper love between siblings, children and their parents, parents and their children. But the fourth love is God’s love! It is agape, the unconditional love that comes from the heart of our creator. It is His agape unconditional love for you and me that drives Him to care so much about the very details of our everyday existence. It is His love and caring heart that causes Him to want to engage with us, His creation, in order for us to live out His very purposes for our lives.It is His love for us that moves Him to want to bless our lives with the true things that matter. He wants us to experience the fullness of His joy, the serenity of His peace, the riches of His glory, the miracles of His power, the life of abundance, and all of life’s victories both now and in the future.
It’s wonderful to know and believe that the God who holds the universe together and the stars in His hands equally holds our lives together from conception to eternity. Our true birth originated from concept in the heart and mind of God when He designed our lives in the engineer room of heaven before we ever entered this physical world. He continues to keep us in the palm of His hand as we live out each day, and He promises to be with us in all our tomorrows.
Because of this, we should be filled with thanksgiving and expectation of what is yet to come! The Bible says that, “Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither has it entered into the heart the things that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
I love the story in 1 Kings Chapter 17. Elijah the prophet just concluded an encounter with King Ahab, the meanest, most brutal king Israel had ever had up to that point. You could say that Elijah, a young confident prophet, might have bitten off a little bit more than he could chew!He told the angry king that there would be no rain or dew in the land for the next few years unless he said so. As you can imagine, this really angered the king. In the very next verse, it says, “Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah!”
My take on the story is that God quickly stepped in to bail out the bold, young prophet! It is interesting to note that God immediately came to Elijah’s aid, but it is not shocking that He did so. God instructed the prophet to gather up his things and journey to the Kerith Ravine, no doubt a place of provision and protection.
What a blessing to know that because of our Heavenly Father’s love for us, God is always there to help us or bail us out when we get too deep into some of life’s sticky situations. He will often lead us out of a situation which could potentially harm us or hurt us. The blessing is that when God leads us away from something or some place that is not healthy for us, He will lead us into a place of provision, a place where “God Surprises” await us.
In this safe place, God used ravens to bring food to the prophet, and water from a flowing brook that provided much nourishment, and quite possibly some fish for eating too. Everything seemed to be going well for the man of God when “…sometime later the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.” You can look at this situation from several different angles. One way is that the prophet brought it upon himself! Ultimately, the brook drying up was a direct result of Elijah’s prayer.
The Lord then told Elijah to go to the next place, called Zarapath, because He had already commanded a widow there to provide for him. Because God was already working in the prophet’s future, He had new and fulfilling blessings awaiting him. It’s the same with us. God is already in our future, waiting for us to walk in obedience towards Him; which, in turn, will cause us to bump into the “God Surprises” awaiting us. These surprises come wrapped as new assignments, new blessings, and new provisions for our lives.
In my new book, God’s Future Surprises, I share the fact that with Jesus in your life, the best is yet to come! I want you to wake up every day excited about life, having the mindset of a child on Christmas morning who can’t wait to open his presents. Be filled with anticipation and expectation for all of “God’s Future Surprises” that are wrapped and ready for you to receive in the days, weeks, months, and years to come!
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Marty Celaya is the Lead Pastor of Encouragement Christian Center in Etiwanda, CA. Visit:www.eccchurch.encouragementintl.org
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