The Best Time To Pray

“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”    Jonah 2:1 NIV

When is the best time to pray?

– when you are running from God.

– when you have been disobedient and rebellious.

– when you have done your own thing, your way and find yourself in the center of a devastating storm.

– when you realize that God is BIGGER than your fear and STRONGER than the storm.

– when you are in the very center of something that is far bigger than you and you have no power to get out of it.

– when you are ready to let go of your preconceived ideas of what God is calling you to and willing to serve wherever you are, with whatever God has given you, right now. 

When is the best time to pray?

NOW… whatever your “now” looks like.

What Makes You Happy

“Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” Mark 4:24, 25 MSG

Getting everything you want doesn’t equal happiness.

Giving everything you want actually does.

Living a life of generosity brings joy.

Living in fear starves your soul.

Pastor Tommy Barnett said,“What do need most? Do that for someone else, plant a seed.”

What do you need most today? 

How can you provide it for someone else today? 

When To Be Humble

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”

Psalm‬ ‭25‬:‭9‬ NIV

If you need clarity and direction from God today, begin by bringing your pride to the foot of the cross and lay it down.

It is there that you are reminded who the Lord of your life is and that it isn’t you.

The Father of our Lord Jesus loves you so much.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Micah‬ ‭6‬:‭8‬ NKJV

How you live your life is more important to God than where you go or what you do.

Need direction? Need answers? 

1. Do what is right.

2. Let mercy be your standard in all interactions.

3. Walk humbly with Jesus.

There you go, my friend… it really is that simple. 

In the Difficulty

“That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.” ‭‬‬NUMBERS 14:1 NIV

Why did the people of Israel weep?

Because 10 of the 12 spies that Moses sent into the promised land came back saying it was impossible and the people believed them instead of believing God.

They mourned as if they were already defeated when in truth, they had not even begun.

This nation of former slaves looked at the promised land in fear because it was going to be difficult.

They wanted the promise but only if God was going to make it easy for them.

Stepping into your promised land isn’t going to be easy.

You are going to have to fight for it, face the giants and trust God to help you when it gets hard. 

God has brought you this far and He will take you all the way in.

Getting there is going to be one step of faith after another…and then another.

It will always be a walk of faith.

You can trust God to give you what you will need when you will need it to do what He has called you to do.

It is going to be difficult but absolutely, not impossible.

Take a moment to pray and then take your step and go after all God has for you.

In the Storm

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”  

Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭24‬ NIV

Since living in Southern Florida, I have a healthy respect for storms that come on quickly and are ferocious. Every afternoon in the summer, the fluffy white clouds that fill the blue expanse of the sky in the morning turn into dark thunderclouds by the afternoon.  

Some afternoon storms are gentle showers and over quickly. 

Some of them rip the sky open with the crack of lightning, heart-pounding thunderclaps, and vicious wind.

The verse above describes a storm on the Sea of Galilee that came on so suddenly and was so ferocious that seasoned fishermen feared for their lives.

And what was Jesus doing?

He was sleeping

The storm did not disturb him.

How?

Jesus knew three things:

  1. That God, His Father determined His time on earth, not a storm- even the most ferocious of ones.
  2. Who and whose He was: the Son of God, on a mission from God, filled with the power of God.
  3. He knew that His mission was not over yet.

The best thing for you to do in a storm is to trust God and rest. 

Rest in God’s sovereignty:  He knows the moment you will cross into eternity.  This storm will not be the end of your story and God does not have half a plan.

Rest in knowing who and whose you are: a cherished child of God, redeemed by the cross of Christ to live life loved and drenched in God’s grace.

Rest in the knowledge that as long as you are here, God’s mission for you is not done yet.

Hide Here

“You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this:‘GOD, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!’ That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.”

Psalm 91:1-5 MSG

I want to remind you today that you have a place of refuge. 

You have a fortress of strength to love from. 

You have a tower of trust to give from.

Your refuge, your strength and your tower is Jesus Christ Himself.

No matter what you are going through today, Jesus opens His arms to you and invites you to come to Him.

He stands beside you and invites you to rest in His love.

When the sun of adversity beats down, rest in Shaddai’s shadow.

Tuck yourself into His side and remind yourself whose you are.

When fear screams the loudest, run into His arms. 

Fear nothing. 

Hide in Him. 

He is your place of refuge anrest.

Made For It

You have been made to love and be loved.

You are made to need it.

Not just any love – God’s love.

When we look to humans to give us what we need, we find they are just like us- flawed and doing the best they can. 

Their love is not meant to fill you or fulfill you, it may even fail you.

You are made to be loved by God, every minute of every day.

His unending, unchanging, un-quitting, transforming love. 

The love you need today is God’s love.

“God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” 

1 John 4:16-17 NLV

How did Jesus live in this world?

He lived loved and secure in His relationship with God.

May you live as loved as you are. 

Created to Feel

“A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life.” PROVERBS 28:14 MSG

You were created to feel your life.

To feel your life, your heart needs to be tender.

Not to be numb to it.

A numb heart is a hard heart.

You are meant to feel the good, the bad, the joy, the sorrow and all the moments in-between.

It may seem easier to let your heart go hard when the hurt gets overwhelming and when the betrayal stings.

Don’t do it.

Don’t succumb to the temptation to become brittle and bitter.

Don’t stay stuck there, dwelling on what happened or what should have happened – don’t let that shape your future.

Fight for a tender heart.

It means that you have to feel the pain and process it. It means you have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with God, not without Him.

It means that you grieve what you have lost all the way through to acceptance so you can live after it.

Stay tender-hearted, my friend.

Don’t let life (or other people’s choices) rob you from living in full color.

Your future will thank you for it and God will walk with you all the way through it.

Encouraged to Keep Going

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”  Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

Hebrews chapter 11 tells us the stories of those who served God with unflinching faithfulness through the toughest of times. 

They suffered, risked, obeyed and trusted God to do what only He can do.

The verse above encourages us to look at the way they lived their lives and how they lived out their faith. When we do, their stories, their lives, their faith encourage us to keep trusting God and keep running our race.

They are witnesses to God’s great faithfulness.

They are to us, a great grandstand full of the people who have gone before us and are cheering us on, no matter how hard it gets. 

They are cheering us on,

Telling us to not to get distracted by others running with us.

Telling us to keep our eyes on Jesus when the world distracts our focus.

Telling us to not give up when we are tired and our legs burn.

Telling us that we are almost at the finish line, almost there, and you can run your race.

Don’t stop now, don’t give up.

Look to the grandstand of witnesses and know that you don’t run in vain.

How is God encouraging you today?

Don’t Get Stuck

“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?”

Galatians 5:7 NLT

As you live your life and run your race, you will be tempted to take a break.

To stop because you are tired or hide because you are burned out.

To pull over to a rest stop and park.

Don’t stay there.

Don’t get stuck there.

Don’t compromise there.

Rest stops are important, you need them but they are not meant to be permanent.

Yes, use the rest time to refill and recharge.

Then get back out there and be who God has made you to be.

Run your race in Christ, filled with His love and empowered by His grace.

Don’t settle into a place you are not meant to be.

Have you stopped to rest and refill but got stuck in a place you’re not meant to be?

Is God calling you to get back on the road again, going after His call on your life?

What is God asking you to do today?