You Get to Choose

Don’t let your situation dictate your reaction.

You choose how to respond.

You decide what words you speak.

You choose how you do your work.

You can’t always choose what must be done but you can always choose how you act doing it.

“Well-spoken words bring satisfaction; well-done work has its own reward.”
‭Proverbs‬ ‭12‬:‭14‬ MSG

Before your day even begins, get with God and choose together how you will respond to your current situation.

Getting Back to Basics

Whenever you feel lost and unsure of how to start up again, go back to the basics.
 
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.
 
2 Peter 1:5-9 MSG
 
Basic Faith – the first step, the abandoned sin, throwing of oneself upon the mercy of God and walking forward into the unseen with the belief that you are not alone to develop.
 
Good Character – staying true to what you believe in the little things and letting those small choices of integrity overflow into the big things as you grow.
 
Spiritual Understanding – the moments you can’t explain, but know are true.
 
Alert Discipline – not allowing time, tiredness, busyness, past baggage, old excuses erode right habits, receiving grace and energy from God.
 
Passionate Patience – being able to expectantly wait for one thing while wholehearted working for another. Choosing to focus on being obedient, not on the results of being obedient.
 
Reverent Wonder – the awe of seeing God with the wide eyes of a childlike heart.
 
Warm Friendliness – the smile, the hug, the gentle knowing atmosphere of those who are confidently walking in their purpose.
 
Generous Love – being able to love those closest to us without fear or conditional embraces and the ability to love those we barely know with an authenticity that only comes from intimately knowing God.
 
These are my own definitions of the list in 2 Peter 1:5. 
 
These are not a to-do list, this is a Jesus-help-me-be list.
 
May you find your way back to the basics and thrive by the grace of God in each one today.

Sustained and Trained

“He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭18:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My prayer for you today is that you would know His love as He pours His strength into you. That you would know His peace as you lean on Him. That you would rest in God’s grace as you walk by His guidance. That you would trust Him with the future and focus simply on the task before you. That you would be released from the restlessness within you as you receive a new determination to go forward in faith.

God will give you what you need right now to fight the battle before you.

You are stronger than you know because your strength comes from Jesus and His right hand sustains you.

Don’t give up, you are sustained and trained through the power of His love.

Limitations

When you connect to God through Jesus, every accepted limitation you have in your life is challenged.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When Jesus challenges how you think, He is challenging how you trust. 

Jesus came to give you direct access to divine perspective founded in unrelenting love and sealed by unbelievable sacrifice.

He is asking you to follow Him into a new place, new ways and a new future that is beyond your capability to comprehend.

Because of His love, you can be brave, because of His power you can lose the limitations.

What limitation is God challenging you to bust through? 

What thought patterns are you living with that are not from God?

What is God asking you to trust Him with today? 

Being Brave

You don’t have to be brave unless you are facing something that requires it.

Being brave means that you are facing something that requires more than a step of faith, it requires a walk of faith.

It means not making your decisions based on what is but on what can be. 

Being brave means getting up every morning and keeping your word when you don’t want to. Stating your boundaries and holding to them even when you don’t feel like it.

Choosing to believe new truths instead of old lies every day.

That is being brave. 

“I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage!”

Joshua 1:9 MSG

Keep going.
Keep believing.
Be brave.

Fight For It

When He gives you a new revelation of His relationship with you, He will empower you to experience it.

When God gives you a new vision for your life, He will equip you to live it.

But new visions and new revelations will always come with a fight.

Whether it is the resistance of your flesh or the stubbornness of old mindsets, you will have to fight for what God has shown you and He will arm you for that as well.

“He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭18:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My prayer for you today is that you would know His love as He pours His strength into you.

I pray that you would know His peace as you lean on Him.

I pray that you would rest in God’s grace as you walk by His guidance.

I pray that you would trust Him with the future and focus simply on the task before you.

I pray that you would be released from the restlessness within you as you receive a new determination to go forward in faith.

You are stronger than you know because you know where your strength comes from and whose Right Hand sustains you.

You have been equipped to change.

Pick your weapons and fight for it.

Hope Endures

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”        2 Peter 1:2-3 NIV

God’s divine power through Jesus has given you everything you need to live the life God made you for.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy.  

If it was easy, you wouldn’t need God’s power to do it.

You will need Him.

You will need His power to keep going in spite of the obstacles, the setbacks, the failures, and the frustrations that you will face this year.

Good thing you have Him.

The promise is made.

Hold on to Jesus.

Hope endures.

Happy New Year.

Around the Corner

I grew up about an hour or so from the beach in Southern California.

Unless you know that you are going to the beach, it just feels like you are stuck in the worst freeway traffic of your life: standstill traffic with smog.

But then you turn a corner and there it is – the sand, the waves and the beauty of the beach.

My friend, you don’t know what this new year will bring.

The journey so far hasn’t been easy and doesn’t look hopeful.

Keep going.

“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭25:4‬ ‭NLT‬

Don’t give up.

There is more for you and for all you know, it may be just around the corner.

And it will be breathtaking.

God’s Not Finished

“But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything.  Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.”
Isaiah 30:18

When the boys were in elementary school they got out at 2:20 pm and I would try to get to the school at the latest by 2:00 pm so I could get a good spot in the pickup line. If you have ever experienced the stress of picking your child up in the craziness that is the end of an Elementary school day, you know how important this is.

One day I had to pick them up early from school and as we walked from classrooms to the car, Kyle looked at all the cars waiting in line and said: “Oh, they are already here?” Then he said, “I thought you just got here right when school is out”. I said, “Nope, if I waited until then I’d be way in the back of the line, so I get here early so I can be right on time for you.”

As I pulled in to wait in the pickup line the next day, I thought about Kyle’s perception, “I thought you just got here right when school was out.”

We forget that most things are not always as they seem but only as we see them. Just as I made a point to be at the school early so that I could be “on time” for the boys, so God is working in ways we can’t see and don’t know about in our lives.

The verse above was fulfilled through Jesus and through Jesus God’s will can be fulfilled in your life. 

God is not finished with you.

He is going ahead of you and preparing the way for you.

His grace and power are ready to be right on time when you need it.

 

Like This.

“Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” Ephesians. 5:2 Message Version

The Scripture above doesn’t say:
Mostly what God does is judge us.
Mostly what God does is condemn us.
Mostly what God does is punish us.
Mostly what God does is give up on us.

No, mostly what God does is love us.

He holds nothing back but gives us more and more and more. He loves us whether we feel it or not. He loves us when we are doing good or not. Can’t earn it. Don’t deserve it, nonetheless…what God mostly does is love us.

It reminds me of a phrase from the book, The Shack by William P. Young: “The nature of love is that it is freely given and received freely. God loves the lost and saved the same. He loves, period.”

He loves, period.

Do you know you are loved like this today?

Do you know you can love others this way?