“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 NLT
Be the one God created you to be! Be YOU! Don’t hand over your “you” to anyone! We all need you!! We aren’t supposed to be the same, but we can live in unity and purpose with our differences and glorify God
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:14-20
So many friends and loved ones are going through some very hard things right now. I’m praying so much for them all. And in case any of you are too, I want to pass this prayer on to you:
Dear Lord God,
You are my Shepherd.
You watch over me.
You tend to the needs of my heart and my life.
Help me to trust Your guidance in this time of uncertainty.
It is so hard to look ahead and not see a clear vision for my future.
Please help me to trust in Your timing.
Let me always seek Your will.
Please fill me with Your peace, knowing that You are the one true God and You love me.
…my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.
Thank You for watching over me.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4: 5-6
Imagine you are getting out the ingredients to bake a batch of cookies, but you have unknowingly mixed up the salt and the sugar. You end up putting in a dash of sugar and a cup of salt.
Now, picture a little child taking a big bite of one of those cookies. How long will it take the child to realize something is wrong? Do you think he or she will ask for another cookie? Of course not!
The art of seasoning is a matter of balance. Just enough salt to notice, but not too much salt to overwhelm. Salt creates a thirst, a desire for more. As Christians, we sprinkle the salt of God’s grace and gospel into our daily conversations. We don’t saturate every conversations in a way that drives others away. The artful seasoning of God’s loving grace into our conversations will create a thirst and a desire in the lives of others. They will long to know more of Jesus. This is how you “make the most of every opportunity.”
In this Holiday season, I pray you all are keeping your devotion time going. Often we put them aside when we’re busy but that’s when we need them the most. We’re distracted and busy…and a prime target for the enemy. And, this Holiday is about Christ anyway, right? Let’s keep our focus and the flame of our love affair with Him burning bright. Do an Advent study/Devotion this season and worship Him. Grow deeper and closer to our Savior.
And I think you’ll find keeping Christ in Christmas will help your busy Holiday time go much better! Also important: We see a lot of people this time of year that we don’t see regularly….as well as stores packed full of strangers. What a prime opportunity to share Christ and His Gospel. Remember why you’re here 😊
Arrival. That is what the word “advent” means. Only the Advent we are celebrating here is not just any arrival. It is THE Arrival.
This is Advent: the coming of hope to the hopeless, the arrival of peace, the long-awaited exhale of freedom for generation after generation gasping for air.
Advent is the elaborate yet stunningly simple plan of God to descend to His children, to become like them in the most unexpected, unglamorous, fully human way….and He’s coming again!
Expect Him. Watch for Him.
This is the beginning of a great ransom story. And you’re in it.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord….”
We are all in missions. Some are called to foreign lands. Some are called to the jungles of the workplace. Wherever you are called, serve the Lord in that place. Let God demonstrate His power through your life so that others might experience Him through you today. View your vocation as means to worship Him right where He has you.
Don’t play hide n’ seek any more.
#MarketplaceMinistry #StandUp #StepOut
For so many reasons, I love having a little one in the house again. I love teaching her all about my Lord. Seeing Him come alive for her is beautiful. I love her sweet questions and her awe in Him. I love the way her eyes shine when she tells me things He is teaching her, and the way she runs to Him in prayer about anything is especially good for my heart. That’s my job….pointing her to Him.
One question she asked is, “Why is this Friday so good when it’s a day Jesus died? We love Him so much, why do we call it good that He died?
Friends, this is why we commemorate Jesus’ death on the cross by calling it Good Friday:
Without His death, we don’t have the Resurrection. And without His Resurrection, we don’t have a Savior. Without our Savior, we don’t have salvation.
Because Jesus died and rose again, we have victory, forgiveness, mercy, grace. We have a home in eternity with Him.
If the Resurrection didn’t happen, then nothing about Jesus is true. Since the Resurrection did happen, everything about Jesus is true. Jesus Christ is our risen Savior, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born on this earth, died on the cross for our sins, rose again, and is alive. He’s alive!
It all —all of this. Here. Now. You. Us. Our purpose. Our reasons. Our why’s, how’s and when’s. Our eternity— hangs on the death and the resurrection of the Son of God.
What appeared at first to be a tragedy was in fact a triumph, because by His death on the cross, Jesus purchased our salvation. We are separated from God because of our sin, and because we are sinners, we have no hope of eternal life.
You see, God is pure and Holy, and even one sin —just one— would be enough to keep us out of Heaven. But Jesus, my dear, sweet Jesus. By His death on the cross He became the perfect and final Sacrifice for our sins. And because of that, Heaven’s door is now flung wide open to all who put their faith and trust in Him.
That’s why we can call the day on which Jesus, the Love of my life, died “Good Friday”. In fact, it was the greatest Friday in the history of the human race because on that day, Jesus won our salvation.
At one time, the Bible says we were “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But, now we have hope because Christ died for us.
The nails didn’t hold Him to that cross, love did.
Take a moment and relish in this one fact: death could not hold Him.
They will mock Him, spit on Him, flog Him with a whip, and kill Him, but after three days He will rise again. Mark 10:34 NLT
I am the Resurrection and the Life. Anyone who believes in Me, even if he dies, will still have life ~Jesus, John 11:25
It. Is. Finished.
“….there came a lion…” (1 Sam. 17:34.)
Through faith in God David conquered a lion and a bear, and afterwards overthrew the mighty Goliah. When that lion came to despoil that flock, it came as a wondrous opportunity to David. If he had failed or faltered he would have missed God’s opportunity for him and probably would never have come to be God’s chosen king of Israel. This was David’s training ground, and a way for GOD to receive glory in the victory.
We wouldn’t think of a lion being a special blessing. I know there have been lions in my own life that I didn’t think were a blessing at the beginning. Normally, we would only think it a cause for alarm. These “lions” are God’s blessings in disguise.
Every difficulty that presents itself to us, if we receive it in the right way, is God’s opportunity.
When the “lion” comes, recognize it as God’s opportunity no matter how rough the exterior.
I love this quote:
just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly
A storm is coming. Or you’re in a storm right now. We all know they’re a part of life. We don’t have to be told that. It’s no surprise to us. What it does is catch us off guard sometimes. We have to be ready. We have to be on guard and have a battle plan working and ready when it comes.
A boss that just wont get off our backs.
A spouse that doesn’t seem to be lined up with you at the moment.
A friend that isn’t really a friend.
A family member that seems like a stranger to you.
A competing co-worker.
All these things and more can be a battle for us at any given time. We know this. We are warned about this in the Scriptures, so that isn’t the problem. The problem is in our battle plan.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities and the powers of the unseen dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
We forget that our battle isn’t with people and get sucked into battling each other. We argue with each other, battle our spouses and divide our own households, families, and work places. In other words, we help the devil carry out his very schemes we want to battle!
You see, there is a battle always going on in the spiritual realm. That’s where the fight is. That’s the battlefield and that’s where we need to fight. The enemy is our accuser. It’s always happening and we need a battle plan.
God is strong and He wants you strong and prepared. You’re up against more than you can handle on your own so take everything God has given you, well-made weapons of the best materials – God’s Word and prayer – and put them to use so you will be able to standup to everything the devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the devil and all his angels.
God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray first, pray often and about everything. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up that that no one falls behind or drops out.
This is an excellent Battle Plan!
I was invited to a premiere event last week for the movie War Room by the Kendrick Brothers – creators of Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants. This movie is coming out tomorrow, Friday, August 28, 2015. Priscilla Shirer stars in it and Beth Moore has a role too. These ladies are two of my favorite Bible Teachers. This movie is so inspiring. If you are a Believer, go see it. If you are alive and breathing, go see it. You’ll see the power of prayer played out on the big screen. You’ll be moved to get active and speak out boldly and loudly against the enemy’s schemes in your life. You’ll come away with a battle plan. It’s what inspired me to write this message today. It inspired me to get back to my war room battle plan. I know it will inspire you to do the same.
#WarRoom #KendrickBrothers #PriscilaShirer #BethMoore #Prayer #Bible
My Dad was very talented when it came to creating things. He created everything from beautiful, fine crafted wood workings that were gifts from our government to others and celebrated in city parades, to houses, and everything in between.
He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
I was so blessed to grow up on building sites and in work shops where my Dad would share his wisdom with me as he worked. One thing my Dad taught me was that wise builders know that every house must have a foundation. A foundation is usually made of concrete or stone and steel, and its purpose is to hold the house up from underneath. Wise builders also know that the foundation must be built on very solid ground or rock. If the house is built on sand, the building will fall when the sand under the foundation washes away in a storm, or when it shifts during an earthquake.
For the same reason, our lives must have a strong foundation. Storms are a part of life. We all will face our share of difficulties and disappointments. Therefore wise people build the foundation of their lives on God, whom the Bible calls the Rock:
“For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” (2 Samuel 22:32)
[God] alone is my rock and my salvation. (Psalm 62:2)
God is like the solid rock, dependable and durable, on which wise people lay the foundations for their houses. You can always count on God and His Word–the Bible–because they always tell us what is true. Whether building houses or building their lives, wise people will follow a good plan, and there is no plan as good as the one found in God’s word:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
My final tip in my three part series on how to make faith a natural part of everyday life for your family. This is by no means all that you can do. These are just 3 easy tips for you to start with now. See previous posts for the other tips.
3. Third, have fun! Nothing makes faith seem more out-of-place and awkward than when it feels forced, contrived, or boring. After over 25 years in ministry, we’ve learned that uncomfortable, scripted sermons or trite, cheeseball lessons are a drag for everyone.
When you make faith interactive, interesting and imaginative, however, the truths from the Bible really stick. Kids who have fun with faith when they’re young experience rich relationships with Jesus as they get older.
So brainstorm creative ways to retell Bible stories, look for inspiration in the natural world around you, tap into your child’s interests, and have fun!
#Faith #Family #Children #EverydayFaith
I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately on faith and family. Here is my second post in a three part series of a few tips on how to make faith a natural part of everyday life with your family.
2. Second, readjust your expectations of what “making faith a natural part of your everyday” looks like. In other words, you don’t have to be perfect. Faith does not eliminate questions, but faith knows where to take them.
Your kids don’t need the appearance of perfection. What they need is real authenticity, and a genuine desire to chase after God – especially from you.
We all make parenting mistakes. You’re going to make several and so am I. But listen, you don’t drown by falling into the water. You drown by staying there. When you mess up, apologize and grow from it together as a family. If you stumble and fall, fall forward, get back up, and keep running the race God has set before you. Let them see you do this with a genuine love for God and a desire to run after Him.
God didn’t mean for parenting to reflect perfection from us. He meant it to be a clear reflection of His love. Our job as parents is not to put on a perfect show. It’s to point them to the Perfect Savior.
As always, feel free to share away. You never know who is on the other side of the screen waiting on a word of encouragement.
#God #Faith #Family #Parenting #EverydayFaith
I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately on faith and family. I’m going to post a tip a day for the next three days on how to make faith a natural part of everyday life with your family.
Here’s the first one:
1. First, as parents we have to model faith. If you’re suddenly picturing someone who can quote the Bible from memory, who prays constantly, and sings in the hills wearing a nun’s habit (a la The Sound of Music), RELAX–faith isn’t always easy, but it can be simple.
You don’t necessarily need to come off like a pastor to your kids. You just need to show them the simple ways you’re practicing your faith. For example, let them see you pray. Let them see you read the Bible. Talk about Jesus. Talk to Jesus, out loud, around them.
Even if your faith hasn’t been a natural part of your family life, start now. No matter how old your kids are. Just start.
As always, feel free to share away. Sharing is caring. You never know who is waiting for a word.
#Faith #Family #EverdayFaith
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6 NIV)
Do you know what “Abba” means? It means “Daddy Father.” Have you ever thought about God as your Daddy? When Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father” in Matthew 6:9, the same word in Greek is the word “Pater” – “Abba Father.”
American children say, “Da-da.” But in the Middle East they say, “Abba – Abba.” Jesus says that we can call the great God of the universe “Daddy.”
When the call came that my son got caught up in a powerful rip tide and that he was being admitted into the Intensive Care Unit in Florida, my heart and soul cried out. No, it screamed out for Daddy so hard I could feel it throughout my whole body. I just wanted my Heavenly Daddy. I wanted His loving arms surrounding us because I knew being close to Him was the best place to be. It was the only place I wanted to be.
I’m so glad that our Heavenly Father never gets too busy running this universe and commanding the angels that He forgets us. He wants to be with you like there is no one else on earth and nothing else for Him to do.
Do you wish you had a hug right now? You can crawl up into the lap of your Daddy Father, and He has nothing better to do than to give you a hug.
Chosen is such a powerful word. Especially when you think about it’s opposite: rejected. Rejection is that thing we all fear, and we’ve all experienced at one time or another. I bet just the mention of the word “rejection” hurls you into emotion-filled flashbacks, and a flood of memories wash over you reminding you of all the times you were not chosen.
An audition gone wrong.
A team you never made.
A boyfriend who hurt your heart.
A friend that betrayed you.
A spouse that cheated on you.
A job you didn’t get.
If we’re not careful, we can begin to allow these moments to define us. We begin to call ourselves REJECTED. But God calls us by name, and He calls us CHOSEN.
“BUT YOU ARE A CHOSEN PEOPLE, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, GOD’S SPECIAL POSSESSION, THAT YOU MAY DECLARE THE PRAISES OF HIM WHO CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS WONDERFUL LIGHT.” 1 PETER 2:9
The enemy to our souls will try and try to tell you that you’re less than who God says you are. He will whisper false labels on you, and try to distract you from your real name: Chosen. Accepted.
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. 1 Peter 2:9 MSG. (emphasis mine)
Spend no more time there. Answer no longer to the name the enemy calls you by.
Let me tell you a secret the enemy doesn’t want you to know: we all have a choice in this. We can choose whether we move forward from this point or whether we relive the past for the rest of our lives.
I love the way Christine Caine said it- You could miss the rest of your life, which could be the best of your life by focusing on what was the worse of your life.
Friend, allow me to speak some things over you. Your true identity.
You are HIS.
Never again answer to any other name!
So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.” -1 Samuel 16:13
We were sitting down at a very nice restaurant and had just ordered when my young daughter grew impatient, asking when her food was going to arrive. She couldn’t understand why her food wasn’t coming immediately after ordering at this restaurant as it does at fast food drive-thru windows.
We live in a very microwave culture. If we want something, we want it right now! But, even though we can go through a drive-thru to get fast food immediately, this microwave mentality often doesn’t apply to our calling and life with God.
We tend to think of David in the Bible as the great shepherd king, the worshipper after God’s own heart. But I wonder when we think of him, if we truly consider all the processing David endured after he was anointed to be king? Yes he won the fight against Goliath; but after he was anointed, he went back to tending sheep! He spent many years running from Saul. It was only after he was tested and he did not kill his enemy Saul that God allowed David to be king. This was years after Samuel had anointed the little shepherd boy in the field before his brothers. Years.
Often we can be impatient with God’s processing. We may want God’s promises – all right now! But God has His reasons for timing that may not make sense to us in the moment. We may not be ready. We may not be able to handle what He wants to give us until He puts us in a place of character building. We have to learn to trust God when we have yet to see the manifestation of the dream that’s on our hearts. This is how God knows we can be trusted with it. This is how we grow to be able to have the capacity to carry God-sized dreams. We grow through experience. This is how character is built.
The journey there brings the growth we need to rightfully handle the “thing” we’re dreaming about now.
Are you letting God grow you through experience? Even if you feel the place you are at right now is not your ultimate destination, decide to treat it with respect. It will provide the training ground we’ll need to be able to withstand God’s promises in our lives and our ultimate calling. Bloom where you’re planted.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God.” –Ephesians 2:8
It’s a good time of the year for fresh starts and new beginnings. Something Louie Giglio once said reminds me how to do that, “For Lent, I’m giving up.”
At first glance, we think there’s something missing from his sentence. But, no, “period” is exactly what should come next.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. The beginning of the Lent Season. Let’s remember that it’s all about Jesus and what He did for us – not about what WE can do, give up, commit to, or accomplish. Nothing to prove.
Lent is a heart issue. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” it was and still is. Knowing the pressure is non-existent helps me prepare for the Easter season. The incredible thing is, knowing I don’t have to measure up actually makes me want to work harder in all areas of my life. He deserves the very best me, and I gladly give up. I give up all of me. Nothing hidden. Nothing to prove. Fully surrendered. Nothing held back. No part of my life held back from Him. Whatever He asks, my answer is YES.
Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s a gift from God from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make or save ourselves. God does both the making and the saving (Ephesians 2:8, The Message)
For some of us, part of our heart prep might be physical – as part of our obedience and humble stewardship. How will keeping your eyes outward and upward to Jesus make your commitments to healthier choices different, change the goals you set or how you prepare and execute them?
Lord, for Your glory and our growth, we don’t want an ordinary Lent season. I pray our hunger, thirst, assurance, and longing is intensified greatly! Saturate us with Your Gospel. It’s all about You, Jesus. It’s all about what You’ve done for us…..and continue to do in and through us…..not about what we’ll promise to do for You. Thank You! We look forward to Your return! In Jesus name. Amen.
Brick by brick, the tower grew higher and higher. And so did their pride. They wanted to be famous, and safe. They wanted to be “the ones” to do this thing with their own hands. They were quite pleased with themselves. “The ones”.
“Look at this mega church I built”. “Look at this ministry I built”. “The bigger, the better because people will see me and how close I am to Jesus”.
You see, God wasn’t pleased with them. He could see what they were doing. They were trying to live life without Him. That doesn’t make us happy, or safe, or ANYTHING.
Living life like that only destroys us. God loves us too much to let that happen. So, He’ll interfere. He’ll stop things. Plans get halted. We get annoyed, but we need to just see that God is saving us from ourselves.
God knows that however high we reach, however hard we try, we can never get back to Heaven by ourselves. We are not saved by our works (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We don’t need a staircase; we need a Rescuer. The way back to Heaven isn’t a staircase, it’s a Person.
We can never reach up to Heaven, so Heaven came down to us Jesus.
Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
It’s all about Jesus.
Today’s thought: I cannot save myself, this situation, or this person. I need Jesus.
See: Genesis 11
All of our actions begin in the imagination. We think it, and then act on those thoughts.
I was recently working on a project that I haven’t worked on in quite some time. I found myself amazed at the things culture has brought into play since my last time being involved. Quite a few times I found myself stepping back, shaking my head and wondering why no one else was seeing it for what it is: attacks from the enemy.
There’s a war on for our minds. Our thoughts. The enemy wants to convince us and change our minds about what we believe because he knows that once our minds are changed, our actions will follow.
God has equipped us with the tools to take our thoughts captive. If it doesn’t line up with scripture – can it. Throw it out with the rest of the junk this culture tries to feed us.
The world will try to tell you that you’re less than who Christ says you are. It wants to beat you down and make you change your mind so that you can then change someone else’s mind about what or Who you believe.
Casting down imaginations (carnal reasonings of the mind) and every high minded opinion raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture.
We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. (2 Corinthians 10 MSG)
Our Master is Christ. He’s alive in us and speaks today as He always has to His followers. Our tool is the Bible. Hold every opinion against the Light of Scripture. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean we should be doing it.
In fact, observe the masses and go the other direction. Do the opposite. Don’t be afraid to be different. You just might be the spark that your world of influence needs to fan a flame.
Together as Christians we walk along this uncommon road with the hope that those we walk past while moving upstream may see something beyond an oddity and turn their lives to join us in our progression of faith towards eternal glory.
Don’t go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Go out there and do something remarkable. Guard your mind and be the change you want to see. Someone around you is waiting for you to find the courage.
Facebook has more than 1 Billion members, which by population makes it the third largest country in the world — somewhere between India and the United States(Phil Cooke)
Who’s sending missionaries to that country? Who’s planting churches there?
That’s a HUGE mission field waiting for us.
Our aim in life is to make followers of Jesus, not us.
May they see us pointing to Jesus, not self
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?
And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
(Romans 8:37 MSG)
Whatever you’re going through – whatever you’re facing today – embrace this written for you. You are dearly, dearly loved. Dearly wanted. God sees you. He’s here. He can’t forget someone He died for:
If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?
So look that problem in the eye and say: My God is bigger than you. No thanks!
The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that The Lord was with him and that The Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of The Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So he left everything he had in Joesph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. (Genesis 39:2-5)
God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all of his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian — all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.
It’s not where you are – it’s YOU that God is blessing. God has favor on YOU.
Being in the favor of God means you’ll be blessed no matter where you are. You walk in a room you are the blessing of that room.
There is no weak economy in Heaven. There are no droughts in heaven. There are no emergency meetings in heaven.
In Genesis 13 we see Abram and Lot, uncle and nephew, separate. Lot chose the lush lands of the east. Abram chose the desert and prospered there.
In God’s economy, there IS prosperity in the desert.
When you walk into that job, that home, that position – it’s you that has the blessing and the favor and you bring it with you.
God is working through our obedience in Spiritual gifts and professional skills. And, as Joseph’s life reminds us, His purposes stretch from countryside pastures to household financial services firms, from prison administration, to the halls of political power.
May he find us faithful where we are. Everywhere we are.
You are the light of world. You carry the light with you. What happens when you walk into a room and flip the light on? Light always wins. No fear.
Allow God to be the Author of your hopes and dreams —your definition of success.
Like a drop in the water, your blessings ripple out to those around you. He will bless your work and it will bless your employer, colleagues, clients, customers, vendors, your town. He will bless you and it will bless your family, your friends, your church, your marriage.
Think you’ve gone too far, or made too many wrong turns?
God uses broken things. He uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to produce rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.
We can all learn a lesson from Peter: In Matthew 14:22-33 Peter walked on water, but as soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus and onto his surroundings, he began to sink. Don’t look at your surroundings no matter how crazy they seem. Keep your eyes on the Master. He’s the source of power. He’s your confidence.
And, remember this. Don’t forget it: the credit is all His. Take less credit and more confidence in Him. It’s not who you are, it’s Whose you are.
Lord, thank You for blessing us. Thank You for reminding us that your blessings go with us wherever we are and that our calling doesn’t stop at the church building. You bless us and use us wherever we are in all that we do at home and at work…..and those blessings bless others. Thank You for Your favor. May we be mindful and faithful in all we do. As we go about this next week and all the days following, may we remember to live second. May we remember why we’re here. For Your honor. For Your glory. In Jesus name. Amen.
A Facebook friend shared this picture, and I just had to share it with you.
It’s easy for us look at this picture and think how silly it is for her to hold on when we see that He has something better for her.
Isn’t this so like us?? We have trust issues. We hold on to things we think are the better things for us. Do we really think we know better than God?
We forfeit a lot of untapped blessings by doing this.
If only we would just surrender it all to Him. Because, dear friends, He has better things for us and loves us beyond compare.
He holds no good thing from us. He can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine….if we would only TRUST Him!
The thing is – Jesus is looking for people to give more than words of belief; He’s looking to see how those words are lived out in our lives.
When we decide to believe in Jesus without making a commitment to follow Him, we are nothing more than fans. We need to become faithful followers.
What is it that you need to surrender? What things or people or hurts or pasts or (fill in the blank) are you still holding on to?
Won’t you trust Him and let go?
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes! (Ephesians 3:20, 21 MSG)
In Psalm 23:2 when David says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures”—he’s saying, “My shepherd makes me lie down in His finished work.” With His own pierced hands, Jesus created a pasture for the soul. Can you imagine the satisfaction in the heart of the shepherd when, with work completed, he sees his sheep rest in the tender grass? Can you imagine the satisfaction in the heart of God when we do the same?
His pasture is His gift to us. This is not a pasture you have made. Nor is it one you deserve. It is a gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Your Shepherd invites you to nestle deeply hidden, buried, in the tall shoots of His love—and there you will find rest.
From Traveling Light, Max Lucado
I knew I was carrying too much. Trying to save a few steps, I loaded my arms up with too much – and the crash to the ground confirmed it.
In life, too, we carry too much – things not meant for us to carry – taking on things too heavy for us – holding on to things we need to let go of.
It holds us back, holds us down and keeps us from soaring new heights with God.
God wants to take us where we’ve never been before, and in ways we’ve never dreamed of.
But, we have to drop some things: guilt, shame, worry, stress from things we should have handed over long ago, lack of trust that God can and that He knows what He’s doing. Carrying it around keeps us from freely comforting others, sharing in their burdens, and serving Him fully.
How can we lift someone else’s load if our arms are full of our own?
And, what about our loved ones – our first mission field? How do those things affect our love and care for them?
Hand them over.
For your family and friends, hand them over.
For God, hand them over.
For you, hand them over.
Hand them over and trust Him. These are things you were never meant to carry.
God is looking out for you, so hand it all over. Let it go. He’ll carry your load. He is more than able. Live carefree before God and soar! See: Psalm 55:2, 1Peter 5:7.
Go on…have a little talk with Jesus and just drop it already…
I love the sermon we had at church this Sunday. I was so inspired because I passionately crave closeness with my Lord. I love slow dancing through my life with Him. I deeply long for intimacy with Him. It’s more valuable to me than anything else. More than everything else.
We’re talking about less being more when it comes to gaining intimacy with GOD:
There’s a lie we’ve bought into that says: I’ll grow if I go. We believe that just going to church is all we need to do to grow. It’s great to go to church, but the point is transformation. The point is growing in Spiritual maturity. We need a crisis of transformation. Are we changing? Are we experiencing transformation?
What we need is intimacy with GOD. This should be our goal. This is more than just going to church. We’re talking about change. You can’t come away from an up close, intimate relationship with God and be the same. Are we changing? Growing more spiritually mature?
One way to gain intimacy with GOD is through fasting. We traditionally think of fasting as doing without something in order to pray and ask GOD for something we want.
Fasting is where less is more.
Fasting is voluntarily denying yourself of something in order to increase time and intimacy with GOD.
It’s denying yourself to provide yourself with this encounter with God.
We sometimes think GOD as a genie in a bottle where we ask Him for something we want and it stops there. But no. GOD wants a relationship with us. The goal of fasting should always be intimacy.
Jesus Himself fasted:
The Spirit then led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. After this fast, He was, as you can imagine, hungry. But He was also curiously stronger when the tempter came to Jesus. Matthew 4:1-3
We grow and become transformed by fasting. We gain power and strength from this intimate time spent with Daddy. It’s digging in deeper with Him. It’s what our motive should be when we fast – to gain intimacy with God. This strength helps us in dealing with the enemy’s prowling around in our lives.
Jesus has a fundamental expectation that we are going to fast. It’s expected of us:
And WHEN you fast…. Matthew 6: 6-18 (Emphesis mine)
See that? Jesus didn’t say IF. He said WHEN. It’s expected.
Fasting also reveals a few things for us:
1. What really controls us.
Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. Romans 12:2
Beware of the way that culture shapes you. It’s difficult to see the ramifications of our own culture while we are in the midst of it. Think about the trends of our culure and how they are impacting you. Disengage so you can properly see how much. Once we let go of something, we become more aware of the hold we let it have on us. Skeptical? Try stepping away from Facebook or that online game you play and you’ll truly see it’s grip on you.
Fasting is paradoxical. In fasting, we embrace emptiness in order to experience fullness. When we get quiet and still, we get fullness in Him.
2. My abuse of time.
We’ll discover how much more time we have to seek intimacy with GOD when we disengage in order to grow more intimate with GOD. There are things we’ve allowed to use up massive amounts of time that is meant for us to spend with Him. We are wasting time. Period.
What helps you feel close to GOD? Whatever it is, when fasting, do that because the goal in fasting is more intimacy with GOD.
Human beings have an undeniable propensity toward become obsessed with things that ultimately have little meaning or value. We become obsessed or addicted to something that has little value. Don’t know of anything affecting you this way? Again—try doing without it to get perspective on it.
3. That more is not always better.
We think that more is always better.
Our biggest temptation is not the ridiculously evil–but the deceptively good. We get ourselves busy, busy, busy with more, more, more of all sorts of things that replace time of gaining more intimacy with Daddy GOD. We need less of something in order to have more of what’s most important.
You, GOD, are my GOD, earnestly I seek for you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1
You know you’re missing something. You know there is a void in your life. Did you know that’s your soul thirsting for GOD? This world – this life IS a dry and weary land. It can’t ever quench your thirst because it’s just shifting sand. It’s dry and weary. Why? There’s nothing here that your soul is longing for. It can’t satisfy that emptiness within you. You try to fill it with many things but it doesn’t help because you live in a dry and weary land and your soul thirsts for GOD. How much sand would it take to quench your thirst? More sand just compounds thirst and you’re never satisfied. You try and quench that thirst by relationships, sex, drugs, activity, people, and working. GOD is the only thing that quenches that thirst.
As you’ve read this, GOD has brought some things up in your heart that you need to do. Whatever GOD is speaking to you about right now, go and do it and don’t delay. If the enemy can’t get you to deny what GOD wants you to do, he will get you to delay what GOD wants you to do.
GOD, help us to embrace emptiness in order to embrace fullness. In You.
My pastor said it best. I love to take notes during church, but you can click here to hear this sermon directly from him with more detail. You’ll want to be sure and watch until the end because you will be so blessed by what’s there.
You can also subscribe to the feed from our church at this link, but if you’re in the area of any of the locations, drop by. You’ll be blessed.
I had the privilege of reading Reclaiming Eve:The Identity and Calling of Women in the Kingdom of God. Visit HERE to get your copy, today!
To be invited in the blog tour was a blessing, but it was only the beginning. Reading this book blessed me on so many levels. My electronic version has so many highlights in it that the whole book is nearly yellow. It unlocked so many things I already knew and encouraged me to continue searching out true freedom in becoming the woman God intended me to be when He created me: a strong power and agent of rescue. An ezer
The following is an excerpt from Reclaiming Eve Chapter 5
God of Community
The spirit of our times could be described with one word: “alienation.” Garage doors go down, people sit entranced in front of computers and televisions, while the solitary lives we lead are crushing our souls. There isn’t a person God will put in your path today who doesn’t long to be known and loved. The bank teller, the boss, the mail carrier, the child, the client, the sister, the old college roommate who just asked to be your Facebook friend.
If it’s true that God calls to us in our pain, then he calls to the isolated businesswoman who has no friend to call when she needs to visit the emergency room. With arms outstretched, he beckons the teenager who was just rejected by her boyfriend after being used. He patiently longs to comfort the fifty-year-old woman whose father abandoned her at birth, leaving a gaping emotional wound that paralyzes her in relationships.
We all long for connection. The ezers and the adams. The single and the married. Those with power and money and those with nothing. In fact, a study from the University of Chicago showed that as you age, loneliness actually raises your blood pressure just as much as obesity or a lack of exercise. The message: healing is a group activity. It’s not only unfulfilling but also physically dangerous to go it alone.
We were hardwired for community. And while you may not have thought about it in this way, you’ve known it all along. You knew it when your mother or father laid you down as an infant and you longed to be held. You may remember moments of friendship that made your heart soar, along with your confidence. And if you’re anything like me, you remember a time when your body physically ached from the ending of a relationship you held dear.
How amazing that in a world of isolated individuals, God the Creator provides the answer to our longings by pointing us back to his original plan. Remember? A God of community, dancing around in a three-in-one relationship, creates Adam. Immediately afterward, he recognizes Adam’s loneliness, highlighting Adam’s complete lack of any suitable companion. Then God dispenses a prescription with only glorious side effects: to end the loneliness of the single human, I will make an ezer who is suitable for him.
The Creator who made his ezers designed them as agents of rescue to destroy isolation. Think of it: simply by being born female, you are a dazzling testament to the beauty of community. You see, it is not good for Adam, or for anyone, to be alone. It violates God’s design and leaves us empty, depressed, and even hopeless. God created his ezers to remind us over and over again that we cannot, must not, go it alone.
How ironic that the very place in which Adam and Eve violated God’s love is the place in which he wants to restore each of us. His community. The place in which each of us are hurt the most, through our relationships, happens to be the same avenue in which God wants to bring unimaginable healing. Whether or not you like it, you are dependent on other men and women to fully experience Christ’s love for you.
There is so much more packed into this book! You must go and grab a copy for yourself and grab hold of your powerful calling in the Kingdom of God for your good and His glory. You are created in God’s image to be an ezer – a strong power and agent of rescue!
Unlock that power today!
Sometimes things don’t go as planned. T’s crossed. I’s dotted. You even prayed about it and was sure things were going your way. There was peace. There was joy. And then the door slammed shut. Hard.
I had this happen to me a few weeks ago. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I prayed. I lamented. I asked GOD to show me the lesson. What did I miss? What did I need to learn from this?
Maybe you had a dream vanish, a relationship suddenly go south, a friendship ran its course, a deal went sour, and big plans fell through. Maybe you were in the middle of something great and God called you to move out of it. Or maybe for you it was bunch of little things that together, became seemingly unbearable.
God moves in ways we seldom understand. We must let go of judging the situation as failure. Couldn’t it actually a blessing?
GOD has an awesome way of redeeming the broken situations and the hurting people and creating something beautiful from it.
Here’s a few examples:
He took a team conflict between Paul and Barnabas and created two successful ministries instead of one.
He used Joseph’s forced exit from his home to deliver two nations from starvation.
After Peter publicly rejected Jesus three times, God made him the founder of the modern church.
When Jesus’ earthly father Joseph relocated out of concern for their lives, a prophecy was fulfilled that verified Jesus as God’s Son.
Don’t misjudge the situation as loss. We are super conquerors in Christ. Once we let go of judgment, we find freedom from grief, anger, and disappointment.
There’s nothing like change to reveal how we truly handle change. How many times do we kick and scream against it? With our carefully marked itinerary in hand, we get mad and try and take back control.
There’s a popular saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” I don’t think God would ever maliciously laugh at us, but I do think He wonders why we thought we had the right to determine our course in the first place.
Who’s plan do we operate by?
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” Proverbs 16:9
Dealing with a change in plans requires us to have God’s thoughts as our focus. Jesus says in Matthew 16:24 that if we want to follow Him we must deny ourselves. Following Jesus requires a change in our plans. We must relinquish our desire to plan, scheme, and insist our way through daily surrendering our lives to Jesus.
While salvation is secure through our Savior Jesus, the struggle to make Jesus Lord is a constant giving up of our plans for God’s plans.
When your plans change, look for something unexpected. Look for something amazing that changes your course and gives way to God’s life-giving plans. Look for something that came about because of those changed plans.