Take the Plunge

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“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.  The facts being that human effort can not achieve the fulfillment of God’s promise. 

That thing that God has called you to? You can’t make it happen. You never could.

Once you really grasp this your faith is set free to rest in God alone.

To be who Jesus has created you to be you are going to have to let go of  “doing your best” and embrace “depending on God”.

This sets you free to shift your focus from yourself and your works to God and His works.

It shifts from giving yourself the glory of “today, I did a good job” or depression of ”I totally missed it” to giving God all the glory for all He has done and will do, instead.

God chose you. 

God chose you to be a partner in the promise but the lion’s share of strength, inspiration, motivation, and miracle is all God’s.

Your part is to receive, rest, wait, and give glory to God.

Your part is to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. 

My friend, don’t tiptoe around God’s promises today, dive into them.  Take the plunge and live fully persuaded. 

Walk and Rest

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Life often demands that you keep on walking even when you are tired. When you are burdened with grief, you still have to go to work.   When you are battle weary someone still has to do the dishes.

Jesus says there is a way to walk and rest at the same time:

“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

He says walk with me and I will show you how to do it.  He says to “Take my yoke” which just means “partner with me”.

Jesus says “I will bear the load and lead the way. Walk with me.”

Your “yoke” today may be dripping with unmet expectations, foundation-shaking experiences or unbearably heavy with too many obligations.

Jesus says to you today, “Here, take my yoke and I will take yours. My yoke is dripping with grace, burdened with divinely appointed purpose and wrapped in a deep peace that is not moved by tumultuous circumstances.”

You may be tired and weary today but still, you have to keep walking. Don’t walk alone. And swap yokes with Jesus, His is much better.

May you walk far and rest well in Jesus today.

A Different Way to Live

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“For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.”

Ephesians 2:10 NET

Instead of asking God to give you the strength to live your life, what if you asked Him to show you a different way of living it? 

Instead of looking for the reasons why things happened yesterday,  what if you looked for what is possible with God tomorrow?

Instead of assuming your life is already set in motion,  What if you ask God to show you what needs to change in it according to His purposes?

What if you dare to believe that Jesus has more for you?

Because He does.  He already has a path prepared in His heart for you with divine appointments and opportunities to bless on it.

What if today you laid down your to-do list and picked up His? Okay, that sounds crazy so maybe you ask God to show you His to-do list in the midst of yours?

God has unseen paths laid out before you to walk in to be a blessing to people you haven’t even met yet.

Life with Jesus is a journey of overcoming and conquering, first steps and new beginnings. It is an adventure of discovery and healing, of bold moves and humble hearts. It is possible if you are teachable.

If you are available Jesus will use you today.

His yoke, your life, a new way. 

What Is Shaping Your Imagination

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“For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:5-6‬ ‭NET‬‬

There is a war for your thoughts and for your imagination.  God gave you the ability to imagine and shape your thoughts.  He gave you the ability to imagine your day, your tomorrow, your future.

Many people believe that you can’t control your thoughts or the direction of them but that is not what the Bible says in the verse above.

The imagination nourished by the Spirit of God is life and peace.

The imagination shaped by the flesh is fear and death.

The thing is, you get to choose.

You have free will and God will never take it from you.
What you think, how you think is up to you.

This is not about creating your future with positive thoughts. This is about consciously choosing to fix your mind on Jesus Christ and allowing Him to shape your outlook.

“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NET‬‬

You have permission, my friend, to take a mental vacation from fear and set your imagination free to dream some God-sized dreams today.

Where is your head?

What is it filled with?

What does it mean for you to set your imagination free and let God dream for your life?

The Adventure of a Lifetime

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“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.”
Matthew 6:12 MSG
Right with God, right with others.
Taking stock, taking responsibility.
Receiving grace, giving grace.
Living forgiven, living forgiving.
Everyday.
Jesus said to pray like this so that you could live like this.
Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that life brings you.
What do you need to ask forgiveness for today?
What do you need to forgive someone for today?

Gentle

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

Why do I need the reminder to “let my gentleness be evident”? I don’t know about you but when I stress, I try to control things. I work to make things to the way I think it should be. When I feel that I am in a battle, I push everyone out, put up my walls and am prepared to fight.

When I am stressed, gentle is the last thing that I am to those around me.

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.

This is where having a relationship with Jesus changes things. It’s where trusting Him impacts how you live because He will never ask you to be something that He isn’t already.

Jesus IS near. 

Jesus says that He is so close that it’s like you’re yoked up with Him. Shoulder to shoulder, walking the same way, with Him bearing the load and directing the path.

He IS gentle. 

Jesus showed us what this kind of gentleness looks like. He focused on His relationship with His Father and only did what God directed Him to. 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 situations or people. He focused on being faithful to the part He was given to do and allowed God to work out the rest. 

Jesus lived yoked and yielded long before He offered it to His disciples.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He leads gently so that you can live gently.

Gentle is not weak it is focused trust as well as a deep knowing of who you are and whose you are.

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.

Your Way

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“Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.”
Psalm 37:5  NKJV
Commit your way. 
Commit your path, your direction, your next step to God.
To commit is an action, not a choice.
When I commit to a diet, I’m making a decision (That I usually change when a piece of cake presents itself).
When I mail a letter, I’m taking action. I’m letting go. I’m trusting that the postman or woman will get it to where it needs to go.
You can’t mail a letter if you hold on to the edge of it.
To commit your way to the Lord is the same thing – you need to give your way to Him. You are putting the direction, the journey, the destination into His care. The word for commit here means to “roll away”. 
To the Lord.
Give your future to God.
Let God have it.
Pry your fingers off the fears you have for your future and give it to Jesus.
Lay down the cherished dreams of a perfect life and roll those over to Jesus as well. Your expectation of a perfect life without pain or heartache is not reality and doesn’t help you deal with it. Those expectations actually trip you up more than your fears do.
Let go.
Trust Jesus. 
Focus on your relationship with Jesus and let Jesus focus on your future.
And He shall bring it to pass.
The phrase in English “He shall bring it to pass” is actually just one word in Hebrew,      “asa”.  It means He shall assemble, accomplish, create, produce it. He shall attend to it, bring it about and ordain it. He will bring it to pass.
“And then finally, when you’ve gotten to the place where you can commit your life and the affairs of your life into God’s hands, then you have arrived at the place of that glorious resting in the Lord. ‘God, I’m just resting in You. Whatever comes, Lord. However. It’s in Your hands.”’
Chuck Smith
It is only when I commit my journey (and re-commit it hourly) to the Lord and trust Him to bring it to pass in my life that I am truly free to rest. I am free to discover delight. I am free to focus on doing good where I am instead of carrying the weight of the uncertainty of the unseen future on my shoulders and give it all to God.
I roll it over to Jesus and say, “Here, this is yours. You can take care of it.  I’m Yours and so is my future. Thank you that I don’t have to carry it, worry about it, fret and fight to make it happen. You already have a plan and a purpose for me. Help me to discover it step by step with You”.
How do you deal with an uncertain future?