Called to Climb

positive-quotes-nothing-worth-having-comes-easy-via-thinkpozitive-com

“When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him.”

Matthew 5:1-2 MSG

Sometimes Jesus calls you to climb with Him.
He draws you away from the noise of the crowds to a quiet place where He can speak to you.
It is a place that you can hear Him clearly with no distractions.
Some mistake these times for loneliness when really God is trying to get your attention.
He wants to show you something.
I don’t love hiking (a.k.a. climbing a mountain) but I know this:
• It forces me out of my comfort zone
• I get to see things I have never seen before
• It causes muscles to form that I never knew existed
• My breathing capacity is expanded and heart is strengthened
Jesus loved the crowds. He taught them, healed them and fed them. But the teaching He was about to give was not for the crowds, it was for the climbers.
When Jesus calls you to climb with Him, you can bet that it is for your benefit.
You can also bet that it isn’t going to be easy.
Nothing worth having comes easy.
When Jesus calls you to climb higher it is to make you stronger.
If you are feeling lost in the crowd, maybe it is because you don’t belong there.
You belong to Jesus and He is calling you higher.
What you learn climbing the mountain with Jesus changes your life in the valley.
What mountain is Jesus calling you to climb with Him today?

Living Large

b095aef43a428b463c6780dc8fd7344b-act-of-god-godly-quotes.jpg

“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.

May you call out to Jesus and be filled with gratitude, worship and divine strength to be who He has created you to be today. 

Tried and Tested

55217-bsm259
“We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV
When God “tests” your heart, it isn’t a test to pass or fail.
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
It is a purifying of the soul.
The crucible is a vessel that can take extreme heat and not melt. It is used to melt the silver so that the impurities of the precious metal will rise to the top. Then the refiner will skim it off the top.
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.
He will bring to the surface the things that are holding you back from loving freely, what is tripping you up in your relationships, what is sabotaging your peace.
Things that don’t belong there but have never been processed out.
Your job is to stay in His Hand, deal with what comes up (which almost always begins with repentance or forgiveness) 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?

Be Honest

dont-worry-about-being-perfect-just-be-honest-quotes-gate-22001850
You know you are in trouble when you are only giving lip service.
When you smile with your mouth but not your eyes.
When you begin to say the words but there are no feelings attached anymore.
That which begins as a great love story ends with years of apathy hidden by duty, commitment and stalwart phrases of those good old days.
We assume that this means that it is over.
The hope of lasting love slips into the daily drudgery of life.
And yet….
It is not over.
The Lord says:
“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.”
Isaiah 29:13 NIV
In a relationship, lip service does no one any good. Not in your relationship with Jesus, yourself or anyone else.
It is better, to be honest with what is going on in your heart.
That is the only way any relationship thrives.
Jesus came for your heart and that is where love grows.
Bring Him your heart today.
Let Jesus restore to you that which you thought was lost.
Give it another try.

Walking It Out

83e4451e4522e8bb8330decae5cdc0a5

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

2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Walking is a pretty mundane activity.
It’s not as glamorous as running.
I’ve always wanted to be a runner but I am definitely not one.  I am simply a very good walker.
Walking is what you learn early by falling down a lot.
It is what gets you to the kitchen in the morning for your first cup of coffee.
It is basic and boring and taken for granted unless you can’t do it anymore.
Charles Spurgeon said,
“That man has not yet learned the true spirit of Christianity who is always saying, ‘I can preach a sermon by faith.’ Yes, sir, but can you make a coat by faith? ‘Can you cook dinner by faith?”.
The real work of life isn’t using your gifts by faith but living your life by it: Paying your bills, doing your job, cooking dinner, cleaning the toilet.
It is in these small necessary everyday things that God’s power is revealed not just in the great things but in the small ordinary ones. 
It is when God’s grace and power are evident in washing the dishes when you are tired and spent.
It is when you stop yourself from going all buck wild on the attitude you just received from your teenager.
It is when the holiday isn’t working out to be what you hoped for but you are able to roll with the punches and still enjoy the special moments that would otherwise be buried in resentment and disappointment.
When what you see does not dictate how you behave.
That is when faith leads your life instead of sight. 
It isn’t very exciting but it is totally life-giving.
Don’t worry about running your faith race today, just focus on walking it out faithfully.
Love you.
Today may you walk slowly, steadily and consistently in faith in who Jesus is, what He has done and in who He is re-creating you to be.

Love and Faithfulness

3a5419d0ae970c9ee872af33658255a5

This morning, I want to remind you to be faithful to what God has asked you to do.

I want to remind you that faithfulness and love can be your top priority.

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What if your behavior was driven by kindness and completed by uncomplicated faithfulness every day?

Not out of legalism 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?

Cast It All

1280x1280

One morning during worship, a familiar fear wondered into my mind. With my hands already lifted in worship, I felt the Lord say to me, “You can hold onto your fear, or you can give it to me but you can’t do both.

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

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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

All – every irrational fear, every overwhelming worry. as they come.

Your – they are not God’s anxieties but He will take them.

Anxiety – the word used here means to be drawn in different directions. Literally means to be torn apart.

On Him – where to put what is tearing you apart. Jesus is strong enough to carry them, no matter how heavy they are. He will not remove the circumstances that are causing you anxiety but he will walk you through them and teach you how to deal with them.

Because He Cares – this is a present active verb as in “caring right now in this present moment”.

For You – yes, YOU.

God is caring for you right now.

The quote “Don’t tell me that worry doesn’t work, because what I worry about doesn’t happen” used to be one of my favorites before I met Jesus.

God doesn’t want fear to be the center of your life – He wants to be the center of your life.

Make Jesus the center and cast your fears on Him today.