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.”
….for you are with me… Psalm 23:4
Your peace is a weapon. There are many opportunities created in this world to rob us of our peace. Your confidence in the God of peace declares that you are not falling for the lies of the devil. The first step in authority is to have peace in spite of our circumstances. When Jesus confronted the enemy, He didn’t confront him with His emotions. Knowing he was a liar, He simply refused to be influenced by any other voice than God’s. His peace overwhelmed the enemy; His authority shattered the lie and sent the enemy fleeing.
This week, that trickster tried to stake a claim. The peace of God overwhelmed and he fled. Praise You Jesus! God is always so very close. mmmm……yes, He is.
There is a place of walking with God where you simply fear no evil. David faced a lion, a bear, and a giant. In this Psalm he stood in the shadow of death itself, yet he feared no evil. Our trust in the Lord is what brings peace, not trusting in our abilities.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…” Psalm 23:5a
Because God is with you, every adversity you face will unfold in victory and become a meal for you, an experience that will nourish and build you up spiritually.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
The source of God’s peace is God Himself. If fear has been knocking at your door, begin to face that fear with God’s peace. It’s God’s secret weapon to destroy fear.
As I held out my hands to her, I could see the grip of fear in her eyes. I was asking her to do something she’d never done before. To go to a place she’d never been. To leave her safe place that ironically was a hard place. But it was all she knew.
She’s fighting back. She’s unleashing her warrior chic.
Now, draw a blood line in the sand and don’t go back.Because TODAY.Today we’re fighting back. We’re unleashing our warrior chic
God has created us to be untamed, undomesticated and to be a force to be reckoned with.Jesus died and rose again to make us dangerous to the forces of darkness.This isn’t a dress rehearsal.
Don’t stand in the crowd when you’re supposed to stand out.
My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Around 1406 B.C. God brought His people to the edge of the land He had promised to their ancestors, and Moses handed leadership of the nation over to Joshua. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, finally the people of God were ready to realize the promise of living in the land of Canaan. All they needed to do is to obey and trust Him in order to take possession of the land. In other words, trust Daddy and do what He says.
What is your edge? God spoke something to you a while ago. For some, a long while ago. Is It to begin teaching a Sunday School class? A small group? Or maybe it’s a big step in changing a lot of things in your life. Maybe it’s a little step. Maybe it’s to finally begin leading your family in the Way they should go. Is it to say yes to that mission trip? What promise is God calling you to realize in your life?
Some of you are right there on the edge. It’s time. You can see it. You can feel it. The only thing standing in the way is you putting your trust in Daddy God and obeying what He tells you to do.
It’s time for you to take that step. Take possession of that promise. Don’t worry, if God brings you to it, He WILL bring you through it.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study the Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all that you do. This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9
See: Joshua 1-6
Yesterday we talked about being fearless. Immediately God took me to His Word and to a place in my heart asking Who is this God that you would serve Him fearlessly in this crazy life and in seemingly impossible circumstances? And, why??
Immediately He took me to Matthew 6:9; The Lord’s prayer. Specifically the first line: Our Father in heaven.
Who is your Daddy?
Because of Jesus, we come to God as our Father. A child, sitting on our Daddy’s knee chatting….and listening to His wisdom. Trusting in His care over us. We come to Him not as a fearful people to a tyrant lording over us. No, He’s kind. He’s gentle, yet sure and just. He’s your Daddy!
Some of you may have never had that feeling of being a Daddy’s girl. Never sat on your Daddy’s knee and felt that love, care, protection, strength, provision and wisdom. I’m sorry. I truly and deeply am. I know you have an idea or dream of who you wanted your Daddy to be, wished your Daddy to be.
I have some notes on Daddy. Notes on who He’s been to me, will always be to me, and most certainly wants to be for you. This list never ends, and is added to regularly. I’ll never be able to stop describing Him as He meets my every need, my every longing as I go through this life. Some of this list is from teaching notes, and all of it is true.
You are secure and taken care of because of Who you belong to. This is your Daddy. Follow Him fearlessly. Allow me to introduce you:
Your Daddy is…
the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End
Keeper of creation and Creator of all
Architect of the universe, Manager of all time
He always was, always is, always will be unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, and never undone
He was bruised, but brought healing
He was pierced, but eased pain
He was persecuted but brought freedom
He was dead and brings life
He has risen to bring power and was raised to bring peace.
The world can’t understand Him, armies can’t defeat Him, schools can’t explain Him, and leaders can’t ignore Him.
Herod couldn’t kill Him, Nero couldn’t crush Him
He is Life, He is Love, He is Longevity, and He is the Lord
He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness and He is God
He is holy and righteous and powerful and pure
His ways are right, His Word eternal, His will unchanging, and His mind is consumed with US
He’s our Savior, our God, our peace, our comfort, our Lord, and He rules our lives
His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life
He’s the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders
His goal is a relationship with you and He will never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment book
When you fall, He will life you up
When you fail, He will forgive you
When you’re weak, He is strong
When you’re lost, He is your way
When you’re afraid, He is your courage
When you stumble, He will steady you
When you’re hurt, He’s going to heal you
When you’re broken, He will mend you
When you’re blind, He will lead you
When you’re hungry, He will feed you
When you face trials, He’s with you
When you face persecution, He shields you
When you face problems, He will comfort you
When you face loss, He will provide for you
When you face death, He will carry you Home to meet Him
He is everything for everybody everywhere every time and in every way.
He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to
You see, with a Daddy like this, we can face anything, anytime fearlessly because we can trust Him. We. Can. Trust. Him. You are His creation. He’s invested and consumed with you. He can’t stop thinking of you, and doesn’t want to. He is the Supreme Ruler. Nothing can defeat Him. He’s your Protector. He never fails. He is madly in love with you. Madly. Crazy. Head over heals. Stalker type love….only not creepy. He is unstoppable and never gives up on you. Never. He is your Provider. When He calls you to a thing, He will carry you through it. He will equip you. He is powerful and majestic.
He’s your Daddy
You can do all things through Him who is your strength. In His strength, you are fearless.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
When the people heard God’s Law, they experienced deep sorrow. They had ignored and betrayed their sovereign and personal God. The very thought of their sin made them sob. Instead of patting them on the back and telling them how great it is to mourn their sin, they encourage the people to turn their mourning into a celebration. Once they understand God’s written message and accept His mercy, their joy overflows.
We need to do the same. Sinning is something to be sorry about (for real) and shed tears over because we have grieved our Daddy. I was a daddy’s girl growing up and nothing caught my heart quicker than grieving my dad. But we don’t have to stay there…..God’s mercy over us is something to shout about. Mercy is not giving us what we deserve. God had mercy on us and sent His Son to die so that instead of getting what we deserve, we get heaven…..we get forgiveness….a pardon….we get to dance and shout for joy instead of mourning. To skip Jesus means we are still lost in our sins. Don’t skip Him! He loved you enough to die for you! You are valuable to Him….that’s why He came!
Jerusalem’s wall was strong and restored and now the people needed to restore and strengthen their relationship with God. Nehemiah tells them that their delight in the Lord will be their inner fortification.
Need to mend the broken relationship between you and the Lord? Go ahead! He’s waiting. He’s not standing there with a pointed finger, waiting to say I told you so…..He’s standing there with a smile on His face, joy in His heart, and arms open wide for His prodigal child has come back. All of heaven is waiting too, with their party hats on and their noisemakers ready to scream and shout. You are valuable and dearly loved.
The people were no longer to focus on their inadequacies, mistakes or sins. As they repent and find their source of life and celebration in the Lord, their self preoccupation diminishes. They came out of their sin heavy funk and had a party! They experienced the truth of Nehemiah’s words: “The joy of the LORD is your strength.”
You’re forgiven child! When you bring that sin back up to the Lord, He’s going to say, “What sin?”. He’s not kidding when He says you’re forgiven. Don’t waddle in it anymore (and don’t do it anymore!)…..do a Jesus jig along with the rest of us because Jesus came and brought joy to your world! Ever see someone go through something so horrific with such strength? This is their secret….the joy of the Lord is their strength!
“Send some to those who have nothing”….. spread the news! There are others around you who need the joyous news right now. There’s plenty of joy to go around, share the good news!
“being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:11-12
Here, Paul is continuing his prayers for the Colossian believers.
I don’t know about you, but endurance is what I need. At times I loose my pepper, a term my old track coach used to use.
Starting off is never hard for me…it’s the ‘keeping on’ as I round another lap, and another, and another I wonder if I’m ever going to be able to finish with the pepper. As I run and am pelted with this spiritual attack, that spiritual attack….the utter beatings from the enemy as we serve others….the times as a woman you never ‘get’ return for all you ‘give’. When we still haven’t seen a breakthrough on that thing we’ve prayed about forever….Sound familiar?
My coach taught me to stop thinking about when the race would end. With each lap, he would say, “you can give me just one more” and I could. I could give one more. At the end of the next lap, he would say, “just one more Christy” and I would run again. Endurance is what he wanted. He was training me in endurance to be a great long distance runner. He didn’t want me thinking about the other runners, he wanted me to finish….one lap at a time. And I did. Every time, and greatly so.
In my own strength I get impatient, wanting to see the results quickly. I’ve run long, and now I want to see the results, I’m tired. He supplies the patience to wait….and the endurance to keep running.
Being impatient is what causes us to give up…we want our way, and right now. If not right now, then we quit.
God gives us all the strength, endurance and patience we need for this life…and has enabled us to share in the SAME inheritance with all the saints in His Kingdom of light. Ohhhh, how I joyfully thank Him…because I don’t know about you, but, I sure ain’t saintly!
I thank Him for giving me what I don’t deserve….an eternity with Him paid for me by His own Son!! Whew! That makes me do the Jesus jig!!
Talk about keeping the pepper! We WILL keep the pepper by His glorious and mighty power!
With the joy of our salvation we run. We run with His gloriously mighty power…and with the pepper….and we don’t stop….and we completely go…… and keep going until the glorious day we are with Him in the Kingdom of light. He is faithful to complete the work He began.
Lord, I thank You. I thank You for the joy of my salvation. I thank You that You created me, died for my salvation, and give me all the strength, power, and endurance I need for my life here on this earth. What an awesome God You are. I adore You. I am Yours. In Jesus name, amen.