No.

“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ be ‘No.”’

Matthew 5:37 NKJV

No.

A simple answer but rarely an easy one.

At some point, you will need to say NO to good things so you can say YES to the things God is calling you to.

For those who are challenged by saying “NO”, here are ten different ways to say it:

1. I would prefer another option.

2. I would love to say yes to everything, but that would be stupid.

3. Someone would be awesome at this, I am not that person.

4. Some things have come up that need my attention.

5. We should rethink this.

6. My instincts tell me I’m just not suitable for this.

7. It would cause the slow withering death of my soul.

8. Um, no.

9. My plate is already full but I will be happy to suggest somebody else’s plate to put it on.

10. No, I’m doing all I can right now but thank you for giving me the opportunity.

What do you need to say “NO” to in order to make room for the right “Yes”?

When You Are Tired

Life often demands that you keep going even when you are tired.

When you are burdened with grief, you still have to go to work.

When you are battling anxiety,  someone still has to do the dishes.

When you are restless to go but must stay right where you are.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Jesus invites us to walk with Him, work with Him, and watch how He lives in the fullness of God’s love every day while bearing a great burden.

Your world may be dripping with unmet expectations, foundation-shaking experiences, and unbearable obligations.

Or it may be boring and frustrating with endless monotony.

Whatever is happening around you, Jesus wants to walk with you through it.

Lean on His strength and let Him love you right where you are.

Gentleness Is Not Weakness

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The original Greek word used for gentleness in the verse above describes the heart of someone who will let God fight his battles for Him.

It describes a person who has let go of trying to control the situation and allowed God to do what He needs to do through Him.

Jesus showed us what this kind of gentleness looks like. He focused on His relationship with His Father and did what God directed Him to do.

He did not bend to peer pressure, comparison, or even try to fit in with anyone other than His Father.

He didn’t try to control the situation or people. 

He focused on being faithful to the part He was given to do and allowed God to work out the rest. 

He leads gently so that you and I can live gently.

Gentleness is not weakness. On the contrary, it is focused trust founded in a deep knowing of who you are in Christ.

My friend, may you begin to learn to live in the power of leading a gentle life by being yoked and yielded to the gentle Savior today and every day after.

Unlimited and Glorious

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”Ephesians 3:16 NLT

God has glorious and unlimited resources for you today.

You have His strength to love, to walk, to work, to hold on to hope and let go of fear.

You have His grace to cover your mistakes and feed your compassion.

You have His joy to see the beauty of humanity that is all around you.

You have His kindness to be gentle with those who are closest to you.

You have His vision to see others as He does and love them with His love.

You are empowered to live loved as a child of God and do His will on earth as it is in heaven.

Not by your strength but by His.

Not from your limited resources, but from His unlimited and glorious resources.

Not so you will “look strong” on the outside but so that you will “be strong” on the inside.

You have so much more at your disposal than you realize.

You have Jesus and He brings all of heaven with Him.

What Defines You

“He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”    

Romans‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭MSG

There comes a point in life that your faith becomes stronger by facing the facts, not weaker.

The facts may not be friendly or encouraging or what you want to face but as a child of God, you can face them. You can deal with reality instead of running from it.

How?

By knowing that your circumstances do not define you, God does.

By knowing that the God that died for you, stands beside you.

By knowing that Jesus will never leave or forsake you regardless of the circumstances around you.

In Jesus, you have full rights as a child of God to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. 

He is able.

What are you asking for?

What are you imagining?

What are you trusting God in today?

The Gift of You

God has given you gifts. 

All kinds. 

Some come as talent.

Others are revealed in character. 

Some are gifts to you as well as through you that bring such joy that you can’t wait to share them.

Some are so close to your heart that you are afraid to reveal them. 

The gift that you are with your smile and words, your hands and heart, how you cook or clean, create or organize, how you lead and follow, bless and pray is meant to be given, not hidden.

Salt is made for seasoning.

Light is made for lighting. 

Gifts are made for giving.

The more precious they are to you, the more powerful they will be for others.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The gifts you have been given are to be given away: to serve, to love, to mend, to tend, to bless, to build.

God uses the gift of you to introduce others to the gift of Jesus.

Let Him and don’t overthink it.

The day After Easter

Eyes that held ancient eternity and recent humanity.

In a body that bore the sin of the world and conquered death.

Now He would walk on the road and walk thru walls.

His work on the cross was finished but His relationship revolution with humanity had just begun.

He showed His disciples His nail-scarred hands. He walked and talked with them on the road to Emmaus.

He fixed breakfast on the beach and ate with them.

His earthly mission was finished but the co-mission through His followers was just beginning.

“Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” 

Matthew 28:18-20 MSG

Q. What happened after the Resurrection?

A. The Great Commission

Go and let nothing stop you.

Finished

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John‬ ‭19‬:‭30‬ NIV

After the unfair trial.

After the man’s judgment.

After the sentence to death.

After the unbelievable physical pain.

After the unbearable separation from the Father.

After receiving horrific judgment and sin of the world upon Himself.

Before His final breath.

“It is finished.”

My sin paid for. 

My debt paid.

My forgiveness, offered.

My redemption, complete.

My relationship with God, possible.

Before you ever began, He finished it.

Proof of Love

All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children”. 

Matthew 27:25 

After Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, abandoned by His disciples and denied by Peter.

Then He was brought before Herod to be judged. Herod sent Him to Pilot, but Pilot couldn’t find a reason for a death penalty.

It came down to the people and the people demanded that Jesus be crucified and the murderer, Barabas, be released to them.

Unfair, unjust, unreasonable are just three words that come to mind. He did nothing to deserve a penalty of death.

The crowd shouted: “His blood be on us and on our children.” 

He must have stood there marveling as He heard the crowd cry out for His death, knowing that He was going to bear their judgment physically, spiritually….literally.

Now their cry has become mine: “His blood be on us and on our children”,  not the blood of judgment but the blood of forgiveness.

While Jesus was on the cross, He drank deep from the cup of God’s fury against our sin so that you and I could drink deep of the cup of forgiveness. He took our judgment so we could be pardoned for all eternity.

Now their cry has become mine: “His blood be on us and on our children”,  not the blood of judgment but the blood of His amazing love and forgiveness.

If you don’t know how much Jesus loves you, look at the cross – the proof lies lifeless there.

Overwhelmed with Sorrow

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane…” 

Matthew 26:36

Jesus went to a garden on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, the place olives were crushed.

With the scent of olive oil heavy in the air, Jesus prayed.

Not with pretty words but with a soul overwhelmed with sorrow.

He cried out to His Father until blood drops appeared on His forehead.

On the way to Easter, we must stop at Gethsemane.

This is the place of honesty and truth.

Jesus held back nothing, He never did.

Jesus went there and so can you.

At some point, we all need Gethsemane. A place to plead with God for help and courage. A place to hold back nothing.

My friend, you don’t have to “hold back” your sorrow or worry from God. In fact, He is the only One who is able to fully receive it.

Sorrow is a part of life and Gethsemane is a safe place to pour out our grief, our anger, our hurt, our fear. It is also there we find the unlimited depths of God’s love for us.

Today, your Father in heaven opens His arms to you. He is able to handle it all.  

Jesus asked God if salvation for mankind could be purchased any other way than through the cross – there wasn’t.

So He went there – for you and for me.

Nothing, not even overwhelming sorrow, can separate you from God’s love.