Unplug

You can’t know God’s will by looking from the world’s perspective.

You must unplug from it.

God’s will, His good, pleasing and perfect will for you isn’t difficult but it is very different.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Godʼs will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

How do you unplug from the world? 

Don’t look at your phone first thing in the morning.

Take the first thirty minutes of your day connecting with God instead of being distracted by text messages, emails, or news.

Unplug from the world and plug into the presence of God.

It is a wonderful way to start your day.

Hope in Suffering

Friday

 “because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God doesn’t cause suffering, the broken world and broken people in it do.  God doesn’t cause the suffering but He can use suffering to grow the power of perseverance in you. He can use it to forge the foundation of your character. He can use it to expand your capacity for hope.

If you let Him.

Suffering can produce hope.

How? Through our relationship with the Risen Lord. 

The Apostle Paul talked about it a lot. He knew that suffering was a part of this life but because of Jesus, we have hope for today and hope for all our tomorrows.

To the new church in Rome, he writes,

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.
Romans 8:17-19

Your days of suffering are numbered, my friend and they will come to an end.

Meanwhile, allow God to use it to cultivate your capacity for the glory that is coming.

Courage

One of the most amazing things about receiving God’s love (and I mean really receiving it- taking it in, letting it sink into your soul, walking in the truth of it, living loved) is that it gives you courage.

Courage to step out of your comfort zone.

Courage to change the way you talk to yourself and to others.

Courage to not give in to old habits, coping mechanisms or escape tactics.

Courage to face your feelings and issues.

“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.”

1 John 3:18-20 MSG

When anxiety is stealing your joy, you can bet it is also stealing your ability to love fearlessly as well. Put your worries in God’s capable hands and get busy loving the people He has placed in your life.

Have a wonderful fearless- loving day, my friend!

New

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

What does God do in you through Christ? 

He creates “new” in you:

A new mentality.

A new habit.

A new hope.

A new attitude.

A new love.

A new life.

God is presently re-creating you.

You can confidently let go of “what-ifs” and embrace the possibilities with Jesus of “what is”.

That doesn’t mean you’re perfect but that you are present and open to living new, now.

May you live fully in Christ today and discover the wonder of the new things He wants to do.

Are you caught in the doldrums of “what ifs”?

What “new” does God want to do in you? 

How God Tests You.

“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭NIV

The crucible is a vessel used to melt the silver and gold so the impurities of the precious metal will rise to the top. When it does, the refiner will skim it off.

It is the same with your heart. The Great Refiner will use the hot fires of life to cause the impurities in your heart to be revealed so He can clear them out. In His kindness, He will bring to the surface the things that are holding you back. When He brings it to the surface, it means that you are ready to deal with it. Your job is to stay in His Hand, deal with what comes up (which almost always begins by forgiving yourself or others) and allow the healing balm of His love to make you new.

How is your heart? 

What is Jesus bringing up?

What do you need to do with it?

Living Large

“Thank you! Everything in me says ‘Thank you!’ …Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.” Psalm 138:1-3 MSG

‬‬The true secret of “living large” isn’t about outside income, it is about inside strength.

The strength that is accessed through spontaneous worship- the ability to see and recognize what God has given you and what He is doing.

The strength that comes from the truth of God’s Word impacting and changing your life.

The strength that comes from gratitude.

Gratitude changes your perspective to see the abundance you have instead of focusing on what you lack. It opens your eyes to see the possibilities instead of the problems. 

Where worry constricts your heart, thanks-giving worship expands it.

The moment you cry out to God in weakness, He meets you with His strength.

Call out to Jesus right now and let Him fill you with thanksgiving, worship and divine strength to be who He has created you to be today. 

Let Your Light Shine

“If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!”  

Matthew 5:16 MSG

Your opportunity to shine the light of Jesus’ love into people’s lives often happens when you least expect it to.

It happens when your plans change and you have an opportunity to respond grace-full-y.

It happens when there has been a miscommunication you have an opportunity to lead with an apology.

It happens when someone lashes out and hurts you and instead of lashing out back, you bring them a bandaid of mercy.

Moments like these are when Jesus shines through you.

So shine bright, my friend, this dark world needs you.

How You See

Perspective is powerful.

Jesus said how you see the world around you, impacts you:

“Your eyes are windows into your body.  If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”‭‭

Matthew‬ ‭6:22-23‬ ‭MSG‬‬

How you look at the world around you impacts how you experience the world within you.

Do you see the world and the people in it with wonder and delight or in fear and distrust?

Have you “pulled the blinds” and given up?

If so, you are in a dark place.

Jesus came for you.

He came to unleash heaven’s light and love in you.

He came to heal the hurts and tend the wounds that fester distrust and fear.

He came to restore wonder.

He came to restore you.

Learning to Walk in Faith

This quote is from Abraham Lincoln

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”     ‭‭

2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Have you ever watched a baby learn how to walk?

They start by taking one step.

They learn by falling down a lot.

Perseverance and determination is needed.

Walking by faith in Jesus is the same.

You learn how to trust Him by taking one step at a time.

You learn His grace and mercy by falling down a lot.

Perseverance and determination is needed to keep learning.

Every time God begins a new work in you and asks you to trust Him in a new area of your life, it is like learning how to walk in faith all over again. That is how His love permeates every area of your life. That is how His love transforms you into who He created you to be.

Don’t give up. Keep walking in faith and trusting in Jesus.

He is cheering you on and so proud of you.

My friend, may you walk slowly, steadily and consistently in faith in every new area that love takes over.

Finish What You Start

Finish what you start with love.

Let faithfulness and love rule the day.

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Proverbs 3:3 NIV

What if today you were driven by kindness and each task completed with faithfulness?

Not out of legalism or duty but out of love. 

Not to earn anything but to embrace everything God has already given you.

It is better to be faithful in a few things than unfaithful in many.

What would your life look like if you finished what you started?

What are your “few” things you are working on?