Called to Be Our Consecrated Selves

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

People have moments where they wish they had a greater role in the world around them.  We see other people around us, or in stories from the Bible or in the news, and think we’d like to be more like them.  More influential, more effective, more powerful.  For example, what if I could be a prophet or an apostle?  Or in our modern world, maybe a “social media influencer”?  “Be yourself” is often the advice for finding contentment when we feel like this, but the Bible says we are “to be conformed to the image of his Son.”[1]  So, should we be ourselves, or should we be like Jesus?  What will give us contentment?  While not a full answer, the call of Jeremiah the prophet offers some help.

Jeremiah was not a prophet by accident, because Jeremiah 1:4-5 says:

“Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
            and before you were born I consecrated you;
            I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’”

Here, God calls Jeremiah both to conform his ways to God’s, and also to his own specific task.  Like Jeremiah, every Christian is known by God and called to do His will.  Only God knows why we were each made the way we were made, and in a way God calling us to serve Him is like Him saying “stop living like you’re an accident of a random, purposeless world.”  It is because we were made, not just evolved, that we have purpose, and God has “consecrated” us to that purpose.

Stop living like you’re an
accident of a random,
purposeless world.

But each of us was made differently, also on purpose.  Unlike Jeremiah, my fellow travelers on this blog probably aren’t prophets, and that is part of why Jeremiah needed to be a prophet.  His job wasn’t to call everyone else to be a prophet, but to serve everyone else by calling them to find their own purpose in God.  Jeremiah wanted all of God’s people to take whatever He has endowed them with and dedicate it to Him.  Likewise, being “conformed to the image of” Jesus does not mean we should all be carpenters, but that we should apply His righteousness to every task He puts before us.

Therefore, God’s people should never live like they are an accident.  We are all a valuable work of creation, made to find our good and His glory in His amazing design.  We will find our true selves in the One who made us, and God’s people will have unity in Christ’s character, combined with diversity in the infinite creativity of the people He created.

Be yourself, and also be like Jesus.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10


[1] Romans 8:29

Broken, But Not Beyond Repair

Actual disaster footage. Viewer discretion advised.

A doctor friend of mine said there’s an inside joke that “if you put two bones alone in a room together, they’ll find each other.”  I heard this after breaking my left collarbone in the summer of 2011.  Even when I was young, I wasn’t a great athlete, but I did always hustle.  So after a decade of not doing much athletically, I joined my work softball league and thought at least I would try hard and have fun.  But when I hit a weak ground ball to the shortstop and decided to “hustle,” disaster saw its opportunity.  The fields we played on were poorly maintained, with holes where the hitters stand.  Instead of doing the smart thing and stopping after I tripped in this hole, I tried to keep running (because hustle!) and soon ended up falling hard on my shoulder with a loud snapping sound.  The picture above is my actual X-ray from that night.

This isn’t a great memory, but it’s also a reminder of the miracle of healing. I had the option of surgery or just letting it grow back together, and I chose letting it heal.  However, it didn’t “just” get fixed. It was by design and no accident.

My collarbone was broken clean through, with the two sides of the bone not even touching any more.  I could feel them moving around independently.  When I think about the millions of “decisions” the cells in these bones, interacting with the tissue around them, had to make to do something they’ve never done before, I have to be convinced something beyond my own anatomy and genetic history was at work.  An impersonal evolution may have never seen these bones break in just this way before, so how did the bones know what to do?  I certainly wasn’t aware of telling these bones what to do.  They didn’t “just” fix themselves.

I can only credit the creative power of my Maker, along with David, who wrote:
For you formed my inward parts;
            you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
            my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
            intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
            the days that were formed for me,
            when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:13-14

Everyday Miracles
Miracles happen every single day in every human body, yet we often miss them or refuse to call them miracles.  Maybe we do that because calling them miracles would mean we have to give credit to the power behind the miracle, and we’d rather not.  Ever since Adam and Eve looked at God’s good creation and decided they’d rather make their own decisions, mankind has persisted in acting like bones that would rather grow apart than follow their Creator’s design.  As a result, the world is broken into billions of personalities that don’t know how to connect, that don’t know how to knit agape love into the trillions of decisions they make, and interactions they have, each day. 

We all have a choice in every moment: do we “just” do whatever we think is best and expect the right outcome to “just” happen, or do we look at nature and think that maybe the Person who knows how to make bones fix themselves knows how to guide our lives to the best outcome.

Our heavenly Father wants to knit us together once again, in a world that isn’t broken and where we aren’t broken.  None of us are beyond repair, and our Maker will restore us if we let Him.  Every human being in history has been bad at love, except One, and He is calling to every one of us to trust Him.  “Just Do It” is not a good motto.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
            but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
            not one of them is broken.” – Psalm 34:19-20

Will Green Be Greener in Paradise?

Psalm 98:7 declares: “Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it!” In Romans 8:19 Paul adds that “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”

Pastor James Montgomery Boice connects these ideas and says, “The world will one day be renewed.”  Nature already shows God’s glory, but it also, like mankind, is not yet as it shall be.  Boice adds: “I think of the way C.S. Lewis developed this idea in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In the first section of that book, when Narnia was under the power of the wicked Witch of the North, the land was in a state of perpetual winter. Spring never came. But when Aslan rose from the dead, the ice began to melt, flowers bloomed, and the trees turned green.”[1] Creation shares the hope of mankind – regeneration in a future paradise at the coming of its Lord!

Even now, we get an occasional glimpse of nature that’s somehow better than what we’re used to, and perhaps it is a glimpse of the paradise beyond the renewal of all things.  We were recently in Wales, on Mount Snowdon and a nearby trail in Llanberis, and below are some pictures from that day.  Some of these show the many brilliant shades of green, which seemed more glorious than the greens near our home in the U.S. We don’t often see rocks interact with the greenery like this here.

So, will paradise be even greener than this?  Will it seem like a perpetual winter has finally lifted?  I’m eagerly waiting to find out someday. In the meantime, enjoy these:


[1] From “April 19.” James Montgomery Boice and Marion Clark. Come to the Waters: Daily Bible Devotions for Spiritual Refreshment.  (2017).

Give Everyone Some Longitude? – History Bit for July 8

On this date in 1714, the British Parliament passed the Longitude Act, offering prizes to anyone who could accurately measure longitude at sea.  Failure to measure longitude was causing massive economic damage from shipwrecks and piracy.  Galileo had established a method using Jupiter’s moons, generally accepted soon after his 1642 death, but it only worked on land.  Use of Galileo’s methods on land led to many maps being redrawn, “shrinking” France on maps and causing King Louis XIV to complain that he was losing more territory to astronomers than to his enemies.  At sea, the tossing of the waves, changes in the weather, and other factors made the problem more difficult, leading to the Longitude Act.  The problem was eventually solved by the chronometer, invented by self-educated carpenter John Harrison, who overcame resistance from multiple fronts, including religious leaders who, like Galileo, were convinced the solution was in the stars of the heavens, sometimes citing Bible verses like Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.”  The Board of Longitude paid out over £100,000 for research and in prizes before disbanding in 1828.[1]

Science and religion each have a role to play in improving the lot of mankind on earth, but a lot of unnecessary conflict has come from either claiming a monopoly on worldly progress.  While “the heavens declare the glory of God,” the stars are also “for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.[2]  But that is not all they are for. They also declare that the world is not all there is, and that we are to love others as the Creator of the stars loves us.  Therefore, let’s all give each other some latitude, or even some longitude.


[1] Sobel, Dava.  Longitude (1995).
[2] Genesis 1:14

Earth Day: If the Sun, Moon and Stars Could Speak

Day or night, we are here above you.  We speak a universal language understandable to all people, and we share our message with every part of the world.

But we aren’t really interested in talking about ourselves.

It is our pleasure and joy to serve our Maker for your benefit and His glory.  He has perfectly equipped us for our tasks.

One of your poets once said it this way:

The heavens declare the glory of God,
            and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
            and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
            whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
            and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
            and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
            and its circuit to the end of them,
            and there is nothing hidden from its heat.[1]

We were here before you were, but our Maker was here before us and will be here when we’re gone.  For you, He has us mark the days and seasons.  We give light for you to see, warmth for your comfort, and energy for your food to grow.

He asked us to tell you of His power and His love for you.  We are not here by accident, and neither are you.  Whoever you are, the sun rises for you and the rain falls in its time.  He ensures it.


The Apostle Paul says that God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.[2]

Today, rejoice in the regularity of the heavens, which declare to all people in all times and places that the eternal God cares about them.


[1] Psalm 19:1-6
[2] Romans 1:20