Traducir al EspaƱol

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Daddy's Seven Billion Limited Edition Masterpieces

I pause for a moment, watching my three-year-old play. My soul is delighting in her, my eyes feasting on her preciousness. Ferocious love for her brims up from my deepest core and lavishly spills out all over the place. Lily Belle. My youngest. My baby. She enhances my every day, extravagantly. Holy Spirit is right there with me, drinking her in too. “She is a limited edition,” He whispers to me.

With those words, He drops into my spirit another glimpse into His nature. Another glimpse into His unbounded affection for every unique, individual soul He has created.

“Limited edition.” Usually we think of this phrase as referring to just a few highly desirable collector’s items with very restricted availability.

Exactly! And that’s what you are. Limited edition. Prized. Highly desired. Sought after. Treasured.

Yes, there are seven billion people on the planet, plus who knows how many billion more that have already lived and died since God gave birth to the human race. To us finite beings, it sure seems easy to be lost in such a massive crowd. But nope, you’re not. Quite the contrary, in fact. Remember, He has a universe-sized space in His heart, just for you!! He’s got one for each of those other seven billion folks too. He’s intimately fascinated by and involved with the tiniest details of every one of our daily lives. He has also long yearned for communion with each of us individually. For this to be possible, we came with a flabbergasting price tag: every last drop of His life’s blood. The unspeakably precious blood of the eternal covenant – this is the inexpressibly expensive payment that serves as a measurement of how much each one of us is worth to Him.

Limited edition. Let’s search with our hearts’ eyes for His infinite perspective. Since a thousand years is truly like a day to the Lord – and He’s already existed for an eternity past – to Him, the entire span of human history feels like the mere passing of a week. It’s a blink. In that split second, in that blip stuck in between eternity past and eternity future, He has the briefest of interims to create all the beings that are going to rapturously enjoy Him forever. To Him, seven billion plus is actually a very small number. Once that blink is over, that will be it! Limited edition.

Fervent Aficionados

Think about the zealous enthusiasts that will camp out overnight in line outside a business to be among the first purchasers of a feverishly anticipated special collector’s piece. Think of the waves of excited energy that crash through the crowd when the store finally opens. Think of the customer, who has waited all night with euphoric expectancy for the ecstasy of ownership. Think of the moment that he finally holds that long-awaited treasure in hand. His adrenalin makes his fingers tremble and his heart race. Now take that elation, that exhilaration, that thrill, and multiply it by infinity… to get at least a tiny peek at Daddy’s emotions towards you. This is a small picture of the kind of bliss He experiences over having you as His very own. You, simply put, are His eternity-long dream come true. You are His masterpiece. You are the magnum opus of His heart.

And so is your neighbor. And so is that child with Down Syndrome that you recently saw while grocery shopping. And so is the Starbucks cashier who sold you your usual coffee at the outset of your morning. And so is the baby in the womb of the glowing pregnant mom that you waved to the other day. And so is the little boy crying in the school yard right now because the class bully wounded him deeply with words. And, actually, so is the careless driver who cut you off in rush hour traffic. (Ask the Holy Spirit to show you. Maybe she just got screamed at by her husband. Maybe she’s living through hell right now. Maybe she’s struggling with suicidal thoughts. Pray for her.)

Limited edition. Every individual soul that you come into contact with today is God’s limited edition creation. Each one is exceedingly precious to Him. Do you see them? He does. Ask Him to share His heart for them with you. He will, if you ask.

A few weeks ago, I was lying in my tent at our Pastors’ School, getting ready to sleep for the night. To unwind, I began to read a few news articles. One of them was about a little toddler. She was clinging to her mother as they were both swept away from their vehicle in the raging waters poured out by Hurricane Harvey. Mercifully, some rescue workers were able to pull them out before the water sucked them under a trestle and out of reach. The small child was still alive. Tragically, though, her mama was already dead. When I read that, I burst into tears in the darkness of my tent. My shoulders heaved with the intense weeping that overtook me. Daddy God was crying for that little girl. He was letting me cry with Him. I don’t know her. But He does. She’s his limited edition treasure. He cares so very deeply for her. Her pain tears Him up inside.

The Father’s Mathematics 

Sometimes we are tempted to think that the impact we are making on this earth is terribly narrow in scope. Pathetically inadequate. “I’m not like that evangelist who is traveling the world winning multitudes to Jesus,” comes the uneasy thought. “My little piece just doesn’t seem very important.”


If just one soul has infinite worth to Jesus… if that one individual has a universe-sized space in His heart… if His love for that little one goes so deep that He deemed her worthy of purchase with His own blood… then if you reach out and touch that one, the difference you are making actually has infinite value. The significance of the impact you are having is absolutely immeasurable.

(photo via Kris Arnold)

Take a look at the math. I read an estimate that Billy Graham has preached to 200 million people in his lifetime. So let’s say, for the sake of this illustration, that there’s a stay-at-home-mom named Stephanie. Stephanie is caring for and nurturing her household with tender loveliness and strength. However, she feels less than useful to God because “all” she is able to do, beyond her ministry to her family, is to love on an attention-starved neighbor child named Tony whose parents are never around. Here’s the corresponding calculation that Holy Spirit put up on my inner screen:

200,000,000 souls x infinity = infinity 

1 soul x infinity = infinity

Large or small, any number times infinity still equals infinity. There is no infinity that is greater or smaller than the next infinity. Comparisons really are irrelevant. King Jesus values that one priceless broken person just as much as He values the 200 million that Billy’s life intersected with. Tony is His limited edition image bearer. He has a universe of space in His heart just for him. He is INEXPRESSIBLY EXCITED to spend endless ages walking around Heaven with His arm wrapped around this cherished boy!

“Then the King will say, ‘I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was Me — you did it to Me’” (Matt. 25:40, MSG).

Jesus wants you to understand this. When you smile at that Starbucks cashier, you are reaching His heart. When you lovingly squeeze that neighbor child’s shoulder, you are squeezing His. When you take a moment to share a moment of kindness with the lonely granny on the corner, His eyes leak with the beauty of it. Let’s make our lives about passionately caring for the “least of these.” These are His limited edition, inestimably costly masterpieces. There is colossal, immeasurable, infinite value in every moment we thus spend ministering to His heart.

Each and every one.

Would you like to receive encouraging posts like these in your inbox? To do so, you can subscribe here.

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Universe-Sized Love Space in God's Heart... Just for You

Craning my neck back, I looked up into the night sky. The stunning view of the stars and the Milky Way caused my spirit to leap. Awe welled up inside of me and spilled out through my emotions. I was an hour outside the city on campus at our Pastors’ School. Away in the virgin rain forest, the lack of light pollution allows for a spectacular feast for the eyes and for the soul.

I lingered, gazing upwards, far beyond the point when my neck began to protest. The majesty above was too breathtaking to quickly brush past the moment. Then, unexpectedly, it happened. In an instant, my mind registered how immense the universe is.

I had been trying, for years and years, to tell my brain that each of the stars are suns. That each minute point of light is, in reality, an orb gargantuan in size. That the tiny twinkle barely visible speaks to the nearly immeasurable, unquantifiable distance in between here and there. But my brain could never truly grasp this before that moment. Somehow, that night, it did. I’m pretty sure Holy Spirit finally opened up my understanding to be able to perceive the immensity before me. I suddenly experienced what it is to gaze into the depths of infinity. I was overwhelmed with wonder.

This was just a few weeks ago. Hand in hand with that experience, Daddy has been speaking to my heart about His infinite nature. I believe He wants me to convey to you today some of the thoughts He has been sharing with me about this.

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
Day after day they pour forth speech
night after night they display knowledge. 
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.”
(Ps. 19:1-3, NIV)

What is the message that the heavens are declaring? What are the words of this speech so mighty that it reaches to the ends of the earth? The skies are proclaiming to us the heart of the Father. They are pouring forth expression of His unbounded, limitless, everlasting love.

This is what He is saying. He wants us to learn to relate to Him as an infinite being, rather than as a finite one. When you encounter His vast boundlessness, you come to discover that there are no limits. There is no end. He whispered recently to me that He has a universe of space in His heart – just for me. Likewise, there’s a whole other universe-sized space inside of Him, dedicated exclusively to you. (In fact, He has one for every single individual human being on the planet.)

What does this mean in practical terms? It means that for you, specifically for and about and toward you, He has an immeasurable amount of love capacity and thinking space. This overflows ceaselessly with thoughts and plans for good. Consider how these two verses go together:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11, NKJV).


“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!” (Ps. 139:17-18, NLT).

Daddy is wordlessly taken with you! In that universe of space in Him with your name on it, you are the center of His attention. He is ceaselessly thinking incalculable quantities of thoughts, all about you, and each one spilling over with peace and hope. In other words, since He is an infinite God, He has an infinite amount of time to sit around and dream about, specifically… you!!! Meanwhile, as He has limitless space and capacity in His heart, He is also taking immaculate care of the rest of the universe. Because that’s how big He is.

Get this. He’s also already been doing this ever since, ever since, well, forever. This exciting verse voices that truth. “It is he who… chose us… not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began-to show his love and kindness to us…” (2 Tim. 1:9, TLB).

Look at this one too! “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” (Ps. 139:16, NLT). Dear one, this is not just poetic speak. This is a very real book that exists in heaven and has since before creation. This book is inexpressibly close Daddy’s heart. He has put an endless amount of forethought, care, and perfect love into the crafting of every single minute of your existence.

So, beloved child, can you see the wisdom in leaving aside all comparisons with other people? So often the enemy suggests to us that someone else has been dished out a more generous serving of blessing than we have received. This becomes laughable when we delve into Daddy’s immeasurable love for us. Comparisons become irrelevant when you realize that the capacity for your own joy in Him is infinite. The closest I can get to describing is this. It’s like being at an all-you-can-eat buffet and fixating on someone else’s plate, anxious that maybe they’re getting fed better. What a tragic waste of time and energy. Instead we could be using that heart space to banquet on His endless supply of lavish love and extravagant side dishes of contentment! No wonder He tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:12 that measuring ourselves by each other is not wise.

Don’t miss this pertinent verse either: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world…” (Eph. 1:4, NIV). Which is closely followed by: “This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Eph. 1:5, NLT, bold emphasis mine).

Did you hear that? Like really hear it? It gave Him immense pleasure to make you His! That is why our uncreated God has already been thinking and daydreaming about you for an entire eternity past. Those thoughts cause Him to experience pleasure. He likes pleasure... and He really likes thinking about you. Just a glimpse of you causes His soul to brim over with delight. With joy. I’ve been looking up different versions of these verses. As I’ve been drinking in each one, my head has been swimming with His giddiness. He is SO EXCITED that you are His!

Daddy has spent hours and hours, days and days, years and years, millennia even!... thinking about the way you laugh. Thinking about how your eyes sparkle with the enjoyment of what you love. Meditating on how He will weave together every detail of your experiences here on earth for your wellbeing. Delighting in the anticipation of seeing your unique set of giftings grow into beauty and maturity; of seeing you discover the thrill of finding out who you are, the breathtaking masterpiece He created you to be. Bursting with excitement to see the unfolding of your adventure. Watching over and over in His mind as you get to the end of the story and find out just how astonishingly good He has been to you. And most especially, waiting with baited breath for those moments when you would lose yourself in worship, in intimacy with Him. When you would let Him envelope you completely in His love. Yes. He really does. He has a whole universe in his heart, just for you. Today He caresses your face and says to you in the most tender and gentle of tones, you dear, you are His favorite.

Dive in and eat, dear one. Forget about anyone else’s plate. An infinite buffet is before you, and Jesus is the feast!

If you would like to receive these encouraging posts in your e-mail, you can follow this link.