Bad Made Beautiful

I have a beautiful cross that I never take off. It is my constant reminder of everything Jesus has done in my life. 

It is also a slap in the devil’s face. 

Think about it. The cross was the most ghastly, abhorrent, abominable thing imaginable. If you were hung on a cross, you were a despicable human being worthy of the greatest contempt. 

Cross = BAD

But Jesus. 

Now we see the cross as a beautiful thing. Even many who don’t believe in the saving work of Jesus Christ often wear it as decoration because it is beautiful. Imagine what a headache that constant reminder must give the devil. 

But this is exactly what Jesus does. While He lived, He specialized in making bad things beautiful. Whether He was healing lepers, delivering a woman from being stoned, returning dead children to their parents… 

And He does the same today. It makes no difference to Him that you’ve been bad. He doesn’t care what you’ve done. He cares about you letting Him do what only He can do – turning your life from bad to beautiful. 

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

It’s The Word

I’m going through the Flourish journey (Passion Publishing/Lifeway) with friends, and we’re studying Psalm 119. I’m also, in my private time, working my way through Job yet again. It is amazing how much the two books teach me the same lesson.

“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.” Psalm 119:92-95 (ESV)

These verses also reflect a truth about Job. He could have written them, in fact. Job’s delight was in God’s precepts. They were more important to him than food. They were the most important thing in his life.

This passion is why his faith was so great that it prompted God to bring Job to the devil’s attention, and even though Job slipped near the end of the trial, the foundation that was his faith kept him from going under.

After all was said and done, it could have been Job who declared, “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”

In our Flourish journey, we are sharing what God teaches us, and I love how He gives each of us our own, personal lessons while we study the same words. So far, my lessons have all revolved around this point: The Word is paramount, and making it the focal point of my life is essential. It’s not that I CAN immerse myself in it and make it a part of me; it’s that I MUST immerse myself in it and make it a part of me.

Everything else that seems important will eventually disappear. Only one is eternal: God’s Word. (1 Peter 1:24-25) That alone should be enough to make us realize how vital it is to our very lives.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

The Devil’s Weapons

“Then take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” Judg 6:26b [AMP]

In a recent study of this passage, it struck me. Why? There would have been plenty of wood around: Gideon didn’t need the Asherah pole for kindling. It almost seems wrong to use something at which many have worshiped to burn a holy sacrifice, yet this is the very wood God chose. So I asked Him why…and He took me to The Cross.

“Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse [doom] of the Law [and its condemnation] by [himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified);” Gal 3:13 [AMP]

The devil was very pleased with himself on Crucifixion Day. Here he had the ultimate weapon, a curse-bearing cross, and he used it to put Jesus on display as a sign and symbol of God’s ultimate defeat – or so he supposed. The cross he put so much stock in proved, rather, to be a tool in God’s hands, an eternal symbol of God’s ultimate victory.

God not only permitted His Holiest Sacrifice to be laid on this foul cross; He required it.

So now it makes sense. If you consider Gideon’s Asherah pole as a type and shadow of The Cross, it reveals that God can turn even the devil’s most prized weapons into tools to serve His purposes. The devil never outranks God and, no matter how hard he works to pervert things, The Almighty can redeem them all, turn them, and make them serve the purposes for which He originally created them.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Shut Up, Devil!

Have you ever heard someone argue with their electronic navigator, be it Siri, Tom Tom, or something else, talking back to it as if it’s a reasonable being and they can somehow change its mind? For the onlooker, it can be funny or frustrating, but one thing is sure – it’s pointless. Siri may be giving you completely wrong information, but simply talking to it… or yelling at it… won’t accomplish anything; you have to shut it up.

The same is true in our dealings with the devil. Arguing with him is every bit as productive. It accomplishes nothing but raising your fear level and blood pressure. We have to shut him up too. How do we do that? The same way Jesus did.

Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert. Fasting is interesting in that it does tremendous things for your faith while challenging your body. The devil knows this, so he comes in right away to try to steal what God is giving you. So here he is, challenging Jesus at the end of this fast, and what does Jesus do? Argue? Not even!

“It is written,” He says, then He hits the devil with God’s Word. The third time He says, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written…” In other words, “Shut up, Devil. God says…”

Here, then, is our example. We don’t argue with the devil, we remind him of what God says. God’s Word is a mighty weapon, and proper use of it by us can shut him up as completely as it did on that day. Of course, this means we must know it, must have the Word hidden in our hearts so we can pull it out as soon as the devil speaks.

If he’s been speaking to you lately, and you don’t quite know how to fight back, get into the Bible. You can even go to sites like and search by keywords to find what you need.

Here’s one verse for starters. Is the devil telling you that you can’t do something God wants you to do? Tell him that, according to Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

Yes, you can. You can shut the devil up!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C