Shut It Down

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

You know that moment when your phone or computer is not working the way it should?

It’s response time is slow and simple things become frustrating.

Instead of wrestling through it or simply giving up, the first thing to try is always to shut it down and restart it.

Turn it off.

The screen goes blank and you have to wait for it to restart.

It is the same with your mind. 

When you are tired or overworked your response time slows down and simple things become frustrating, instead of wrestling through or simply giving up, take a break.

Stop focusing on what you’re working on and take a mental vacation.

Unplug from the world around you and take some time to plug into God’s love for you.

Rest in His grace.

Refill your soul in His presence.

Even if it is just for a minute or an hour.

Whatever it takes.

You will be amazed at the difference it will make.

How To Enjoy the Journey

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Being humble means you can lead others without being bossy.

Being humble means that you can be happy and content when you are not in control.

Being gentle means that you have unclenched your hands from steering the direction of your life and have let Jesus take the lead. 

Being patient means bearing with those who don’t deserve your patience and loving people who are not easy to love.

This is about the little things that can undo our composure: the unexpected phone calls, the interruptions that add or postpone your to-do list, the change of plans because some people are unorganized.

These are the moments when being humble matters the most.

These are moments when being gentle makes all the difference.

These are the moments Jesus shines bright through you and you enjoy the journey better than you used to.

May you so confidently know who you are in Christ that you are able to gracefully engage with all that challenges you today.

Unexpected Detours

Nobody likes unexpected detours.

They mess with your plans and remind you that you are not in control.

Maybe your life has taken an unexpected detour.

The road before you may look different than you expected.

Life is taking you down a different path and you are not sure where it will lead.

That is okay, God does.

He knows what lies before you and that His plan for you will not be detracted by it.

It may take longer to get where God wants you, but you will get there

Through Jesus, this promise is for you: 

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV

Do not fear. 

God is not suggesting it.

He is not asking you to consider it, He is not giving it to you as an option, it is a command from His heart to yours: Do not fear.

My friend, you are a chosen, treasured child of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

God will meet you on this unexpected detour and be with you every step of the way.

He will help you face whatever problems you encounter and whatever challenges rise up to discourage you.

You are not alone.

God is with you. 

And as you go, my prayer is that you will rest fully in His endless supply of grace and mercy.

Joy Stealer

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” 

Galatians 5:22-23

What steals joy?

Envy.

Comparison.

What restores joy?

Your relationship with God through Jesus.

He does not compare you to anyone else and doesn’t expect you to be like anyone else.

He expects you to be you.

He is the Spirit of Love that abides in you and delights in the unique, amazing, incomparable person that He created when you took your first breath.

You are precious to God.

You are His kid.

He doesn’t compare you to anybody else.

Don’t let envy of someone else’s place steal the joy of yours today.

The New In You

“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.

New identity to live from.

New power to live with.

New hope to live for.

New relationships to grow in.

Jesus makes you new.

Old things have lost their power and new things are rising up.

God, through Jesus, is presently re-creating you and He never stops.

What is the new thing God is doing in you today?

May you live fully in God’s love for you and the wonder of the new things He is doing in you. 

Are You Lit Up?

“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

You are created to be a light-bearer of God’s love.

As God fills you with the light of His love, it will overflow on those around you. 

Where has God put you? At work? At home? At school?

This is the stand He has placed you on, it is the hilltop to shine the light of His love for others on.

Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity – shine where you are.

Light shines brightest in the darkness.

It is needed most when the shadows of heartbreak, loss and fear are hovering.

Spend a minute or two basking in God’s unrelenting love for you. 

Then be ready when your plans change and you have an opportunity to respond grace-full-y. 

Be ready when there has been a miscommunication, you have an opportunity to lead with an apology. 

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

These are the moments when the power and love of Jesus shines through you.

You are created to be a light-bearer of God’s love.

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

Frustrated?

“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

Are you frustrated today?

You may be dealing with a bad habit that needs to be broken also known as: things aren’t working out the way you want them to.

You may well not even realize it is a habit until you go through something difficult.

Until you are challenged.

Until things don’t work out the way you expected them to.

Jesus said that you are free when our lives are not centered around what you want but around what God wants.

When you struggle, you may think it is because God doesn’t love you.

In reality, He loves you so much that He will use the stressful circumstance 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. 

Stuck?

Are you stuck and don’t know how to go forward?

Ask God to show you what your next step is and then do it.

Faith is not a feeling.

Faith is an action.

It is the choice to believe something that leads to doing something. 

To trust God with the impossible.

To put actions to your words.

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.

Hebrews 1:1-2 MSG

If God is asking you to do something that means that He has already given what you need to do it.

Joyce Meyers says that “Faith is taking the first step before you know what the second step is.”

It is time to put your faith into action.

It may help you to get unstuck?

What is God challenging you to do today?

Busy, Hurried and Distracted?

What is your priority today?

When the word “priority” was introduced and used in the English language it was not plural, it was only singular. 

It meant, what is the one most important thing?

Modern life has pluralized it into “priorities.”

Now we have five top priorities rather than one.

As a Jesus follower, I want to follow what Jesus defined the priority of life is: a living rich relationship with God.

“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

Matthew 6:30-33 MSG

Jesus said this is what we are made for and what He died for.

So you and I can make God our priority and everything else flows out of that.

Modern life keeps us waist-deep in the busyness which leads to hurriedness which leads to a distracted, harried pace of life and chokes out time with God.

Make your relationship with God your first and only priority. 

May your day be so filled with the presence of God that you see all your life from His perspective and follow His lead in everything you do.

 

Anxious?

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬

NIV

Do you know what to do with worry?

Here, God says to cast it all on Him. 

What does that mean?

Cast means to toss. You can’t throw something without letting it go. 

All means to give Jesus every irrational fear, every overwhelming worry, as they come to you.

Your anxiety means not to deny it but to name it. Acknowledge it. Name the fear underneath the worry – then cast it onto God. 

Anxiety – the greek word used here literally means to be drawn in two different directions and be torn apart by it. What a great picture of what anxiety feels like.

On Him – where do you put that which is tearing you apart? Put it into the hands of Jesus. He is strong enough to hold it, carry it and handle it. 

Why?

Because He Cares – and it means that God is “caring for you right now in this present moment” – what are you anxious about right this minute? God cares about it too.

Right this minute God is caring about you.

For You.

What are you supposed to do with worry? 

Look at it, name it then throw it totally on God and ask Him to take care of you as you deal with it.