Living Forgiven

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“and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in His name to all nations”

Luke 24:47 MSG

There is no greater sense of purpose than accepting God’s power to make a 180-degree turn and change.

This doesn’t just happen once.

It isn’t reserved only for “the first time” you recognize you are in need of salvation but is a privileged right of every child of God, no matter how long (or how little) you have let Jesus love you.

It is the ONE thing that keeps your relationship with God thriving and alive- asking for forgiveness.

Get before God today and lay down all that is holding you back.

Every day.
Once a week.
Once a month.
Once a year.
Whatever it takes.

The more the better.

One of the reasons I need to go away by myself for a couple of days a year.  I have learned that I need the time and space to search my heart, to be real before God, to mourn my own weaknesses, to own my mistakes and get the neglected areas of my heart right with God.

Be brave.

I love the quote that says “if you don’t like where you are at, change it. You are not a tree”.

No, you are not a tree, in Christ, you are a child of God.

What do you need to lay down before the cross?

How is your heart? It is cluttered and clogged?

When was the last time you made time to spend time with God and ask Him to cleanse your soul?

Now is a good time.

The First Sunrise on the First Easter

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(Photo: Rebecca Verbeten, Easter Morning 2014)

Yesterday was the 28th year that I celebrated Jesus as my Risen Lord.  Every year, I take a moment to think about how it must have been for Jesus.  That first moment that He saw the sunrise in a resurrected body, through resurrected eyes.

Eyes that held ancient eternity and recent humanity.

Now He would walk on the road and walk thru walls to meet His followers.

His mission was not done.

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 with them on the road and opened the Scriptures to them.

Before He ascended to Heaven, Jesus told them the plan:
“Go and I will go with you.”

Where is Jesus asking you to go?
Who is Jesus asking you to tell?
Who is Jesus asking you to teach?
Who is Jesus asking you to baptize?

Q. What happened after the Resurrection?

A. The Great Commission

Go and let nothing stop you.

Good Friday

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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 trial.

After the judgment.

After the sentencing.

After the shame.

After the pain.

After the spiritual separation.

After the spiritual pain.

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.

 

 

The Road to Success

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The road to success is dotted with many parking places.

Parking places are meant to be a temporary place to stop, not a final destination – you do what you need to do and then get back on the road.

Friend, you are on a life journey with Jesus. Don’t get stuck at a rest stop. Don’t start living at the gas station. Don’t let a parking place become a permanent place.

Get moving.

Remember the reason you were called to this journey in the first place – Jesus has a plan for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Don’t get distracted.

Don’t settle.

Jesus has new places for you see, new people to meet and new opportunities to glorify God.

Rest stops are important but aren’t meant to be permanent.

Get back on your road.

What has gotten you off track on your journey with Jesus? What do you need to do today to get back on the road for the calling God has placed on your life?

Get Moving. 

Someone out there needs you.

In Season

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There are seasons of life that you are where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be doing. You are “in” season. You are inspired, motivated and moving forward.

Then there are seasons when you feel downright out of it. You are not where you want to be and not doing what you think you should be doing. You are in an “out” season. You are discouraged, unmotivated and stuck.

God will use you in both.

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭2‬ NIV

In fact, it is often the seasons that knock you to your knees that impact other people the most:

  • When the diagnosis doesn’t shake your faith. 
  • When you face a hard time but it doesn’t harden your heart.
  • When you are brave in the face of uncertainty and transparent as you lean on God for strength. 

Be prepared to walk with God in the good times and bad, easy seasons and hard ones because God is prepared to walk with you through it all.

If you are available, He will use you to minister to those around you.

God’s love is always in season, may you be filled with it today.

Forget it

The longer you follow Jesus, the more you realize you need Him.

My college pastor said it was like this,  “The closer you get to bright light, the more you see the flaws you have”.

It was good to know that the closer I get to God, the more I will see my imperfections and know more intimately my own flaws.

It was good for me to hear early on that in my walk with God that I would never get to a point of “being an expert ” or “being perfect”.

Your life with God is a journey. 

It isn’t a skill to excel in, it is a relationship to have.

Through the good times and bad times, the easy times and the hard times.

Through ALL the times.

“Brother and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,”

Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ NIV

We tend to focus on all the things we are not, all the things we haven’t conquered, all the things we haven’t grown in.

All those things take your focus from God and put it on yourself.

So, forget it. 

Forget it all.

God didn’t choose you because someday you would be perfect. He chose you because He loves you and He is perfect enough for the both of you. 

Forget what is behind you even if it happened five minutes ago.

Love God for who He is and let Him love you for who you are: His kid. 

New Day

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I wanted to remind you that today hasn’t happened yet.
It is a day yet to be lived.
It is a page in your story that is unwritten.

Just because your story has been going one way up until today, doesn’t mean it has to continue that way.

Just because you made a bad decision yesterday, doesn’t mean you have to make one today…or tomorrow.
Just because you are in a habit that is unhealthy yesterday, doesn’t mean you have to repeat it today.

You have the freedom of choice and you have the power to change.

Today is unwritten.
God has a plan.
You have the pen.

“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”

Philippians 4:13 MSG