Be Loved

You are loved.

You are loved every day of your life and will be loved every day until your death and then beyond into eternity.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You Are Loved.

Because of the cross, nothing can separate from the love of your Heavenly Father and therefore nothing should separate you from it.

Not fear.

Not shame.

Not worry.

All of these were taken and paid for by Jesus so that you can live in the glorious freedom of being a cherished child of God.

So that you can experience your life like a child who feels safe and secure: explore, enjoy and play.

You have nothing to fear and nothing to prove.

So explore.

Enjoy.

Play.

Beloved, live loved today.

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Beyond Forgiveness

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Living in hurt because people I loved lied to me in the past doesn’t help me live in peace now. It clutters my soul with bitterness.

Nursing the regret of dealing with people whose pride cut my life to shreds doesn’t help me heal but keeps me living wounded.

Living wounded is not God’s heart for my life or for the state of my soul.

Forgiveness is vital to the soul.

It is balm and healing. Relief and redeeming.

It is vital because you are valuable.

God wants this for you so much that he paid the price on the cross to guarantee you could receive it and give it.

But God has even more for you and your life.

Jesus spoke of it to the crowd that followed Him up a mountain:

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it.

And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff.  Live generously.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:38-42‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What does life beyond forgiveness look like to Jesus?

It is living a life of generosity.

Someone takes advantage of you- give them what you have and move on with your life. Let it go. Forgive them. Ask God to bless them. Someday you may even be able to bless them yourself.

In this way, you will be living in the abundance of God’s love instead of the famine of past hurts.

God doesn’t deny that bad things happen or that people might take advantage of you but He also doesn’t abandon you to it. He empowers you to forgive, reminds you to let go and pours out His Spirit on you so that someday you can even become a blessing to them.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but in Christ, you can.

Crazy right?!?

No, you can’t do it on your own.

It is possible only by God’s grace, mercy, and power.

True freedom is living generously in your heart, spirit, and soul. It is going beyond the bare minimum to abundance in Christ.

Just start with a prayer:

“Jesus, set me so free from bitterness that I can live in your abundance in every area of my life. You made the way, help me to live it.  In your Name, Amen.”

My friend, may you be empowered by Jesus to live a life filled with freedom, wholeness, and generosity in every area of your life.

One Step

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God will complete what He started in you. The thing is that you decide how long it takes  for some things to be worked out.

God has begun a good work in you, but if you don’t step out in faith and obey what He has asked of you, the work will not be done…quickly.

If you choose to hold on to bitterness rather than forgive, you lengthen your journey.

If you allow fear to stop you from stepping up and doing what God has called you to do, Jesus won’t leave you. He will walk with you. He will continue to heal you, develop His grace in you. God will continue to bring it before you and put the choice(s) in your hand.

What you choose to do with it, is up to you.

Are there things that God has asked you to do?

Is your lack of obedience causing a holding pattern for His purpose in you?

Many times, God has already given us what we need to grow. He is waiting for us to take the step.

The Word says that God will work in you but He will not walk for you. That is up to you.

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”
2 John 1:6 NIV

Go for it!

Even if it is a small thing, obey.

Especially if it is a small thing, obey.

Just take one more step and trust God for each step after.

So Close

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“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.””

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It can be exhausting to find rest.

If you look to a person to provide rest, a safe place to hide, a security in an insecure world – they will fail you because they are fallible human beings. At their best, they are as broken as you are and looking to you to find rest.

If you look to a job or career as a place of safety, security, or fulfillment you may have seasons of it but economies change, companies change and you change. They are at best a temporary place of financial security.

Even if you look to the church to be a place of rest, it can fail you because the church is made of people. The Word says to find rest in God, not the church. You go to church to learn, grow, give, serve, bless, be blessed and so on.

Go to Jesus for your salvation, your refuge, your direction, strength, peace and abundant life.

The church is only there to point you to Jesus.

The only true place of refuge, security, peace and rest is in the shadow of the Almighty God. What does that mean? It means that you stick close to God’s side. So close, in fact, you walk in His shadow.

Jesus came to show you how to live so close to the Father that you bask in the shadow of the Almighty. Then He made it possible to live this way by going to the cross.

Jesus cleared the way so you can walk this close with God.

He is your refuge.
He is your fortress.
He is your Father and you can trust Him.

He is your place of rest, not just when everything is going good but when everything is falling apart.

He is your refuge when you are tired of fighting the battle.

He is your fortress when the battle is too much to take.

My friend, whatever today brings – may you dwell in the shelter of the Most High God and stick so close that you live in the shadow of His love. 

Forgive Them

 

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Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for itwhatever it is.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God.

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them.

Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with your heart.

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice today and every day after, then continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

And it will.

One day you will be able to remember what happened without reliving the pain.

“When we forgive an offense, we set a prisoner free, only to discover that we were that prisoner”.

– Freedom Groups, Week 7

Trust Fall

Pr3.5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” 
Proverbs 3:5 NIV

It is hard to not lean on your own understanding.

Your understanding is made of what you know, what you have learned, what you have been taught and tucked into your back pocket as experience. In the other pocket, you have stuffed the disappointments, the failures, the mistakes that you don’t want to make again. Either way, you are leaning on what you know. You make decisions based on past experiences and knee-jerk reactions from what you fear happening again.

How is that working for you?

Yeah, it isn’t working for me either.

How do you to change? How do you learn to trust God and lean on His understanding, His truth, His knowledge, and His power?

Lean back on God, do the trust fall. Obey God without knowing what is going to happen or how it is going to work out.

Do the right thing.

Trust Him, He will catch you.

Step out in faith. He will guide you and show you how to walk in a new way according to His truth.

Instead of your go-to, knee-jerk reaction, go to your knees and ask God what your next step should be.

With God, You Can

 

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“For with God nothing will be impossible.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:37‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

When God drops a promise in your heart and an opportunity in your lap, you must have faith to go forward.

Grab on to faith like it is your job and obey whatever God asks you to do.

Not because it is easy.

Nothing worth having comes easy.

But if God asks you to do it, He will give you what you need to do it.

With God nothing is impossible.

With God, you can.