Made for More

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You are created to live every day with:

overwhelming love,

deep joy,

persistent peace,

solid patience,

thoughtful kindness,

soul deep goodness,

stubborn faithfulness,

grace-filled gentleness and

Spirit inspired self-control.

What a beautiful existence, can you imagine?

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God wants you to do more than just imagine it, He wants you to live it.

Jesus paid for it.

The Holy Spirit provides it.

You can live it.

You were made for more, don’t settle for anything less.

What is holding you back?

Strong in Grace

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“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The grace of Jesus means that you are loved recklessly just as you are. It means that you already have God’s approval. It means that you are completely forgiven and free.

It means that you no longer have to walk a road chosen for you by sin and brokenness. The strong and stubborn grace that is in Jesus means that you are free to journey down a new road, an unknown road, the road made clear by the cross. A road that comes with the companion of a Savior who is all about restoring that which was lost and getting you where He originally meant for you to be.

The grace that is in Christ Jesus drove Him from heaven to walk on earth for the sake of love. It drove Him to restore, heal, reach out to the “down and outs” and anger the religious powers that be.  It drove Him to become the perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice of a Holy God to restore precious sons and daughters who would have no hope of restoring themselves to a good, good Heavenly Father.

Get busy receiving God’s amazing love today.  Give Jesus the condemnation that is bearing down on your head and let Him wrap His arms of compassion, dripping with grace, around your soul.

You may perceive weakness as a failure but God perceives it as reality.  A reality that when acknowledged allows you to fully receive God’s strength. Jesus does not ask you to make your resolve stronger, He asks you to make your dependence on Him deeper.

How are you going to be strong in the grace of Christ Jesus today?

Where Ya Going?

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Where are you headed?
What are you believing God for?
What does God have on your horizon?

“Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When your eyes are on the ground as you walk, you can only see the next step and it can seem like you are not going anywhere at all.

Look up from your feet.

See farther down the road.

See with eyes of faith what might be there and keep walking forward.

The road you are on may feel long but God knows where it’s headed and knows why you are on it. He wants to share His perspective with you. He wants you to see what He sees.

If you are struggling today with anxiety or discouragement, I’m asking Jesus to pour His faith into your heart and show you His vision for your future.

Don’t give up, look up.

Don’t quit now, God has more for you.

Grace For Today

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You don’t have to wait for the right conditions in your life or until you have more time or money.

You don’t have to wait until you are stronger or smarter or better behaved.

The grace God has given you has nothing to do with how strong or smart or well behaved you are but you have it nonetheless – it is yours.

Grace that allows you to change, grace that inspires you to become who God created you to be.

Grace gives you strength and wisdom.

“God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears.

He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.”

‭‭Titus‬ ‭2:11-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

The same grace that saves you for all eternity transforms your life today.

Today, you can begin to live differently, think differently, love differently.

Not tomorrow, or later-when-everything-is-easier but today.

Don’t wait for one more second to live in the grace God sacrificed to give you.

Start Today.

Strong

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God will give you strength to fight the battle before you.

“He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.”

Psalm 18:34-35 NIV

My prayer for you today is that you would know His love as He pours His strength into you. I pray that you would know His peace as you lean on Him. That you would rest in God’s grace as you walk by His guidance. That you would trust Him with the future and and leave the past behind you.  I pray that you would be released from the restlessness within you and receive a new determination to go forward in faith.

 

Pruned

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A couple of years ago our family was taking a road trip from Sacramento to Anaheim California. On the way down we passed vineyard after vineyard.

After about the third one, I thought, “the vineyards look ready to bear fruit”.

Why? Because they had been pruned back, braced up and almost stripped bare.

That is what Jesus said happens in the life of a believer. Not just once but over and over.

When God wants to grow you, He will prune you.

I’ve seen vineyards in all the seasons:

  • Full and heavy with fruit in the summer.
  • Rioting wild with leaves after the harvest in the fall.
  • Barren and unkempt in the winter.
  • Pruned back, braced up and almost stripped bare in the spring.

The most fruitful vines are those that are cared for and pruned back.

You may not equate being cared for with being pruned back but the best Vine Dressers do.

They lovingly get the vineyard ready to bear fruit by cutting all the dead branches off. They sweep up and clear up the dead leaves that have fallen to the ground. They strip down the main vine to its essence.

They have braced up each one with wood or wire so that it will not break under the weight of its fruit later in the season.

Jesus called himself the vine, you the branch and the Father the vine dresser:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If you feel like God is pruning you, it is because He is preparing you.

He is getting you ready to bear more fruit.

He is caring for you and nurturing you.

He is cutting off dead things that will rot and bring disease to your soul.

He is simplifying your focus and prompting you to define more clearly who you are in Christ.

He is pruning you, even cutting off some good branches that are stealing nutrients from the main one He wants to grow.

Your Heavenly Father loves you just the way you are and loves you so much that He won’t leave you that way.

He wants to see you grow into your full potential and knows that dead things must be cut off and good things that distract must go as well.

Don’t panic because you’re being pruned, stripped bare and braced up. Recognize it for what it is- God preparing you for the next season of your life.

It’s going to be good, my friend, so hold on and trust God!

Your Faith

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Your faith in God is more precious than the finest of gold. It will last longer than your job, your goals and your body.  It is the eternal life inside of you that sustains you through the trials of the temporary outside life.

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Job 23:10 NIV

When God tests your faith to purify it. To clarify it. To clean it from dross and impurities. He will use the smallest irritation or the greatest trial to do it. He does not send the trial but He will use it.

The same fire that destroys wood purifies gold.

God can use the very thing that you feel is destroying you to purify you.

He will use the disappointment you are experiencing to make the dross of your heart rise to the surface so He can skim it off.

You have a promise here that God knows where you are, what you are going through and He knows how to use it to do an important work for you.

You will come out of it shining.

Hold onto God during this season because He is most certainly holding onto you.