“If you didn’t teach your child something then don’t assume he knows or understands it.” ~Dr. Karyn Purvis
Don’t be afraid to go backwards to move forward.
Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. What is a man benefited if he gains the whole world, yet loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes into His glory and that of the Father and the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26 HCSB
Jesus is telling us what we can expect for ourselves in a life of following Him. He’s laying it all out so that we know going in what this disciple-life is like and what we can expect so that there’s no surprise when it happens:
Anyone who intends on coming along with Him has to let Him lead. We aren’t in the driver’s seat. He is.
Oh, how we love to control things. We live in a time where everyone is all about being in charge of themselves and obeying no one. Not even God. We want all the fruits of His spirit, but choosing to obey Him is something we often ignore. We need to have complete dependence on God and be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. If God is all you have, you have all you need (John 14:8)
Don’t run from suffering but embrace it. Follow Him and He’ll show you how. You may have opposition of loved ones. Some of your family and friends may oppose what you stand for. The Message we proclaim isn’t popular. We will suffer in one way or another for righteousness sake whether that means saying no to a certain movie with our friends, or taking a stand before the world for what you believe in.
Self help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, His way, to finding yourself – your true self.
Do you think of your relationship with God primarily in terms of what’s in it for you or in terms of what you can do for Him?
The tendency is to save our lives by selfish, complacent routine—basking in comfort, luxury, and ease by living for the present. Trading our finest talents in exchange for a few years of mock security. God calls us to a life of death to self and to the world.
We are called to pour out our lives for the sake of others, not to spend our lives on earth merely to please ourselves.
What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you – the real you? We may end up packing our bags and leaving everything we know behind…family, friends, house, lands, and comforts. God may call you away from all that you know but that’s ok because if God is all you have, you have all you need (John 14:8)
If anyone is embarrassed with Jesus and the way He leads us, know that He will be far more embarrassed of us when He arrives in all His splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. Don’t back down. Stand up and stay up!
Our instinct is to recoil from a life of cross-bearing. Our minds are reluctant to believe that this could be God’s will for us.
This life involves laying hold life that is life indeed! It means finding, at last, the reason for our existence! What joy and peace it is to be right where God wants you to be, doing exactly what He wants you to do! And, it means eternal reward. What a PROFOUND spiritual pleasure that comes! This life of abandonment has a deep inward satisfaction that defies description. Ever see someone go through things and remain in peace? This is why.
Giving this up for anything this temporary world could offer would be an insane bargain.
This is what we’re called to. This is the real you- the you that you were created to be. Anything less is said not to be a true disciple, but merely superficial lip service. True, it’s risky business following Jesus in this world, but the odds are in our favor. We win.
Joy to the world. The Lord has come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room.
You may have heard the Christmas story thousands of times before, but do you believe it? Have you embraced it as reality and truth? Or have you filed it away under Christmas fantasy along with magical bags of toys and elves?
The true Christmas story, the one that I have chosen to weave as truth into the fabric of my life, is the story of a girl who was ordinary, young and unqualified.
God chose to place Himself inside her womb so that you and I could, one day, carry His presence inside of our lives as well.
God, the Father, the Creator of the Universe, the Instigator of everything glorious and miraculous, chose you and me as the vehicle through which our generation would receive its greatest gift. It is our miracle that we have been called to demonstrate Jesus to the world in which we live.
The world will see the Light of the world when I allow my life to become a shining beacon to humanity.
Christmas was not all about Mary … or Joseph … or Elizabeth and Zacharias … or shepherds and Magi. Christmas is about you too! It is about making yourself available at this time in history – for such a time as this – to reveal the presence and love of our Savior.
You are the present that God is choosing to give to your world today. Your generation is desperate for the glory of a Savior.
As you contemplate New Year’s resolutions and plans that will encompass the 365 days to come, will you recommit yourself to be used by God?
Will you decide this Christmas day to allow God to use your life as the manger upon which the Savior of the world may be found?
Joy to YOUR World! Jesus has been born in YOU. God is looking for believers who will be bold enough and joyful enough to embrace the miracle of Christmas, not just one day a year, but every day of every season.
Merry Christmas! May you truly grasp how wide, how long, how high, and how deep the love Christ has for you.
God uses unexpected people to spread His message. We have our own preconceived ideas of who is worthy, but God doesn’t play by our rules. I’m glad. He’s a much better leader and coach than we are. I’ll let Him call the plays.
Let’s look at John 4:4-47
On His way home from Jerusalem, Jesus stopped in Samaria—an area most Jewish people avoided. Jesus didn’t have any concern for the prejudices of people around Him. Instead, He chose to minister to everyone who was willing to recognize Him for who He really was.
We don’t know much about the woman at the well. Her villiage knew who she was. They knew she was woman not to be trusted or a woman to be admired. But, when she met Jesus she knew her villiage needed to meet Him too. Telling her villiage was not up for debate or a choice; meeting Jesus was not a story that could be contained. So despite the risk, despite the ridicule she knew could come, she ran to the villiage and told them the story about how she met a man who knew everything about her.
Her villiage was never the same.
GOD used and unexpected woman to impact her whole Villiage with her story. She was repurposed. Her story ended differently than it began. Hallelujah!
Because It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish…
GOD used the story of a divorced, relationally plagued woman to move the hearts of a whole town. One woman’s story brought the whole town to Jesus. This was the tool that GOD used to bring His message to a lost world.
Maybe you feel like the woman at the well. Maybe you have done some terrible things. Sexual sins. Bad relationships. Things you’ve said. Bad habits you can’t kick. God still wants to use you. He wants you to get in the game. He wants to work through you.
None of us were created to sit in the stands. We all need to get out of the stands, off the bench and into the game.
What is your circle of influence? If you had been at that well, and you had immediately left to go back to your circle of influence, your network, where would you have gone? Your family? Your school? The sport team you play on? Your neighborhood? What circle of influence has GOD put you into? Where has He planted you?
Where did God find you?
Where did He take you?
Whatever your story, it’s not a story to be contained. You must reach out wherever God has you….EVERYWHERE that God has you…and tell the story of Jesus.
My life is not my own. I belong to him as well as all that encompasses my life. I am sealed. Repurposed. I must go and tell about a man who knows everything about me…….