It’s Your Time to Shine

 

Monday

Why are you here?

Not to collect more things.

Not to become an expert.

Not to be happy all the time.

Not to look good all the time.

Not to feel good all the time.

Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:14 ‭MSG‬‬

You are here to be a light.

A witness.

A glimpse of God living through you.

A glimpse of grace-living.

A breath of fresh love-laced air in the sin-stained world.

That is why you are here.

Don’t get so caught up in yourself or in the present circumstances that you miss your God-empowered purpose for today: SHINE.

My prayer for you is that you are so filled with the Light of Christ that it spills out of you in every way possible, to every person you meet, in every moment of darkness or discouragement or overwhelming circumstance, in spite of the current crisis, through the present obstacle. May the Light of His Love be uncontainable and contagious through you today.

Don’t Do It

Friday

“Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”

Romans 12:2 MSG

Don’t worry about defining yourself within our culture.

Don’t limit yourself by trying to find a place to fit in it.

Look to Jesus and allow His unquenchable love to change how you see yourself, transform how you think about life, and impact how you treat those around you.

That’s it.

What You Want

Thursday

We all have habits that we need to get rid of. However, there is a particular habit that Jesus is more concerned about breaking than the one you are thinking of: it is the desire to get your own way.

It is human nature but my friend, you have a new nature in Christ.

You are being recreated in Him – The old has gone, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When we struggle, we may think it is because God doesn’t love us. In reality, it might be that He loves you so much that He will use the stressful opportunity at hand to break the habit of the-only-way-I-will-be-happy-is-when-I-get-my-way.

God has more for you than that and He calls it freedom. 

 

Time to Party

Wednesday

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!   Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written seems to hold no reason for such a sentiment.

Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and does not know what the future will hold.

And that is the point.

As Jesus’ followers, our rejoicing is not contingent on circumstances, it bursts through in spite of them.

Are you missing out on joy today because you are waiting for your circumstances to warrant it?

Don’t wait one second more,  joy is a fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of your circumstances (Galatians 5:22).

Receive the gift, invite some friends over and throw a joy party!

What is Weighing on You

Tuesday

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”   ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When you are focused on what you can’t control and what you are not strong enough to carry, you are captured by the weight of anxiety.

When you are focused on the presence of God and His incomparable love for you, you are captured by the weight of His glory.

He cares for you more than you can comprehend. 

When you are in the middle of a fierce storm feeling out of control and tossed around, you may be asking Jesus, like His disciples did in Mark 4:38, “Do you even care that we are in this storm?” 

The answer is yesHe cares. 

Yes, He knows.

Yes, He can handle it.

The word “cast” in 1 Peter 5:7 is a word picture of holding something very heavy, then throwing it to get it out of your hands.

Jesus can handle whatever you are carrying.

He who has carried the weight of your sin can absolutely carry the weight of your anxiety.

You Have It

Monday

God doesn’t say, “it will be easy” nor does He say, “there will be no battles”.

He says:

“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You will have to face difficulties, impossible situations, and fierce battles as you pursue God’s call on your life.

And through each one, Jesus is leading you to rest in the security of His love. To pursue the power of His peace. To find and capture the truth that is the freedom He has bought for you to live in.

No matter what is happening around you, you are not alone to deal with it – the Spirit of God is with you.

God’s promise is that His rest is yours. His peace is yours. His freedom is yours. It was fulfilled through Jesus’ death and resurrection and activated by your trust in Him.

You don’t have to earn it, you have to receive it.

Room for All

Friday

God’s love is so expansive that there is room enough for you and room enough for every person you know.

The cross does not have a “Limited Space Available” sign on it.

Jesus stretched out His arms for all.

God has embraced you and placed you within the unearned luxury of His love.

“But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am.

And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste.”
1 Corinthians 15:10 MSG

Don’t let God’s grace go to waste.

Don’t let your insecurities dictate your obedience.

Don’t let fear hold you back from living and giving God’s love.

When you find yourself embraced in the center of God’s grace, you can’t help but reach out to those who don’t know that there is enough room in God’s love for them too.

Don’t waste a second.

Someone out there desperately needs to know it.

In the Middle

Thursday

Real-life.

You are made for it.

Real-life is filled with broken people, challenging circumstances, and difficult decisions.

It’s different than you thought it would be.

It’s harder than you expected.

It’s messy.

Real-life is where Jesus meets you.

He does not ask you to deny reality, He asks you to embrace it as He embraces you.

 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.”

1 Peter 4:12-13 MSG

Stop striving to live a “perfect” life to please God. What pleases God the most is when you allow Him to work His grace and love into the middle of your very messy real life.

May you be empowered today to face the reality of your life and walk confidently in His unique, personal, powerful expression of grace and love for you in it.

A Small Thing

Wednesday

David believed that God could use a small thing to conquer a big enemy.

“Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead”

1 Samuel 17:49 NIV

It is not the size of what you are facing but the size of your faith in God.

God has chosen you.  He walks with you.

You can fearlessly face the giant before you because the Almighty God is within you.

You already have what you need.

You don’t have to change who you are.

God will use the small thing you hold to do the big thing you have been praying for.

What small thing has God placed in your hand?

What is God asking you to do with it?

A Prayer of Surrender

Tuesday

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him”.    Psalm 62:5 NLT

All that I am

Daughter, wife, mother, friend, dreamer, detailer, realist, writer, speaker, cook, cleaner, pastor, inspirer, frail, my own worst critic, stubborn, strong, passionate, fearful, faithful, wonder-full, beauty-full, worry-full, redeemed, restored.

Rest…

Hush anxious thoughts. Put down the to-do list. Quiet fear. Close the door. Rest in abandon. Embrace peace. Breathe silence. Cease to think, worry, or wonder. Just be.

Before God…

Not before bills. Not before responsibilities. Not before failures and faults nor achievements or success. Before God the Creator, Provider, Peace Maker, Redeemer, Savior, Lord, Father. Sovereign, Merciful, Strong, and Gentle. Powerful, Passionate, and Purposeful.

For my hope…

Tender expectations of possibility. Easily bruised. Unrealistic. Fantastic. Wonderful. Amazing. Hope.

Is in him…

Wrapped in the arms of grace surrounding the soul. Hope not in temporal things but in the eternal One God in three persons- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hope not in temporal circumstances but in the embodiment of LOVE itself.  Hope held secure by the nail-scarred hands of Jesus.