When You Think It’s Over, It’s Not

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

John 11:43 NIV

Lazarus was dead. 

His body wrapped tightly in grave clothes and laid to rest. 

The world had already moved on and the story of Lazarus was over.  

But his story was not over for God.

Lazarus was dead and Jesus told them to open the tomb anyway.

Lazarus was gone and Jesus called his name anyway.

Then Lazarus walked out alive. 

You may think that your story has already been written.

That it is over.

That where you are right now is where you will always be. 

That your usefulness, your marriage, your ministry, your job, your purpose, your hopes lay dead and lifeless at your feet.

Jesus defied death.

“Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15: 55 -57 NIV)

If you are breathing, God is not done with you.

You may think your story is over but God doesn’t.

He calls life from death and unbinds the grave clothes that cling.

He calls your name, reminds you who you are and whose you are.

He changes the ending of your story.

He will resurrect relationships, restore callings, redefine life as you know it and move you from darkness into the light.

The story of Lazarus is more than an example of a miracle, it is a proclamation of the power of Jesus to raise the dead things in us and a reminder to us today that all death means nothing in the light of His love.

He defeated death itself and because of Jesus, you have nothing to fear here or when your time on earth is done.

When fear rises up to tell you that your story is over, know that in Christ your story has only just begun.

Just when you think it’s over, it’s absolutely not.

Press On

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.PHILIPPIANS 3:12 NIV

Today, I want to challenge you to let go of:

– trying to earn God’s love (He already loves you).

– your fear of failure (you have nothing to prove).

– perfectionism (you have nothing to fear).

– habits that sabotage your growth (you don’t need them anymore).

– trying to control everything (you can’t anyway and it’s exhausting to try).

And I want to encourage you to take hold of:

– God’s grace.

– your faith in Jesus.

– the vision Jesus has for your life.

– the hope of love’s transformation.

– trusting Jesus with it all.

Jesus will not give up on you or let go of you.

He loves you so much that He will continually press you to press on to become who He has created you to be.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12 ‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Let go of what is holding you back and go after with all your heart all that God has for you.

With Him, You Can

“Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. GOD, your God, is with you every step you take.”

Joshua 1:9 MSG

Today you may be faced with a task that looks way too big for you to tackle. 

God knows this.

He doesn’t intend for you to do it on your own or by yourself.

He intends for you to tackle it with Him.

To face the impossible challenge with Him.

To lean on His strength, His wisdom, His power to do it.

Should you face it?

Yes
.

Can you?


Yes
.

Why?


Because you are not alone in it.

You can do all things through the One who will strengthen you.

His name is Jesus and He is your Lord and Savior.

With Him, you can.

With Jesus

Come, he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
Matthew‬ ‭14:28-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It’s impossible to walk on water.

It’s impossible to feed 5,000 people with a small boy’s lunch.

It’s impossible to heal a man born blind.

Jesus did all this and more while inviting His disciples to join Him.

They not only watched Jesus do these things, they got to be a part of it.

They did their part and Jesus did His.

He walked on water and invited Peter to walk with Him there.

Peter wanted to be where Jesus was, which happened to be on the water.

Peter helped Jesus feed over 5,000 people by doing what Jesus told him to do: pass out bread and fish.

Jesus will invite you to do the impossible without expecting you to do it in your own strength. 

Jesus knows you can’t do the impossible without Him. 

He fully expects you to fully depend on Him for it. 

Don’t focus on what seems impossible today.

Focus on following Jesus and following through on what He has asked you to do.

I am praying for you to receive all Jesus has for you,

to boldly go with Him to places you have never been before.

To experience new life, new love, new freedom, new hope and a brand new normal of stepping out in faith with Him. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen

No Need To Compare

“In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel.”

Ephesians‬ ‭4:1‭ MSG‬‬

The road before you, who it is calling you to be is not based on your strength but His.

You can walk forward in faith because of what God can do through you.

It’s about God’s ability, not yours.

God can do more than you can ask or imagine through you but you get out there and run.

Run your race.

The one He is calling you to.

Get out there and RUN your race.

No comparison needed.

This is about your journey, your family, your school, your job, your season, your road. 

Paul’s road led him to prison and he shared the wonderful message of Jesus to all who crossed his path.

He shared God’s love through Jesus to the guards, his fellow prisoners, the politicians he was brought before and anyone else who would listen. 

That was his race. 

What is yours?

Get Comfortable with Uncomfortable

Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” Matthew 4:21-22 NIV

When Jesus calls you, He will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone.

When He calls you to step out of your comfort zone it is because He wants your comfort zone to grow

He will challenge how you see yourself and the limits that puts on your life.

He does not define you by what you do.

You are defined by who you are: God’s child.

Just so you know, Jesus will not stop calling you out of your comfort zone.

Why? Because he wants you to grow to your full potential in Him.

And when your uncomfortable zone becomes comfortable- He will call you out of it. 

God loves you just as you are and that same love won’t let you stay just as you are.

You are not called to live a comfortable life, you have been called to an abundant life in Christ.

You have been called to go.

You have been called to grow.

You have been called to give and to love.

If you think that God is calling you out of your comfort zone- HE IS.

It’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and live the life God has created you to live.

What comfort zone is Jesus calling you out of today?

Simply Love

“The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love —love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.”  1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭5 MSG

The whole point is to love others and live your life open to God.

To simply love and simply be loved.

To love God and love people.

It is simple but certainly not easy.

Self-interest complicates it. 

Self-protection kicks in.

Stress gives excuses.

A moment of simple love breaks through it all.

A moment of simple kindness lifts the eyes and encourages the heart.

God brings those moments to us so that we can give those moments to others. 

May the love of God interrupt your day with a small blessing, or a gesture of kindness as well as an opportunity to pass it on. 

His Healing Embrace

If you are hungry, the only way to get the nutrients into your body is to eat. 

If you are thirsty, the only way for you to quench it is to drink. 

The only way to be healed by God is to ask Him to heal you.

Unbolt the chains around your heart and let Him in.

Ask Him to heal it. 

Ask Him to open His arms and hold you. 

Feel His acceptance wrap around your soul.

Surrender to Him your hurts, life-controlling habits and relationship wounds. 

Accept the liberation of His divine forgiveness. 

He loves you.

His love is for you.

His healing is yours.

His grace will do in you what you cannot do for yourself.

He is yours through Jesus.

He is yours without limits.  

Take a deep breath and inhale the healing embrace of His love. 

God Will

For He, God, Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down or relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!” ‬‭HEBREWS 13:5 AMPLIFIED VERSION

God will not leave you without support.

Jesus is bigger than your situation.

He will not leave you helpless.

He will not relax His hold on you.

He will make a way where there seems to be no way.

As you face the challenges before you, know that God is beside you.

All things are possible with God.

He will not leave you.

Just Forget It

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,” PHILIPPIANS‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ NIV

Forget what is behind you.

Forget the mistakes that happened yesterday, the words of condemnation that haunt you, the plans that failed no matter how hard you tried and the way you used to live before you met Jesus.

Forget them. 

You have a Father who forgives you, a Savior to walk with you and a Helper to empower you to live as you were created to.

You are connected to the Almighty God through Jesus and loved passionately by Him.

Through the good times and bad times, the easy times and the hard times.

There will be hard times but you will not experience them alone.

You will be triggered to react the same ways you have in the past but press pause when the trigger hits and lean into your very present Lord.

When things get difficult, instead on focusing on all the things you are not, focus on all that God is.

God didn’t choose you because someday you would be perfect. 

He chose you because He loves you and He is more than enough for the both of you. 

Love God for who He is and let Him love you for who you are: His child, who He loves and is already proud of.