Not Normal

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There is no such thing as normal.

There is routine, there is what you are used to, there is “how things used to be”, but there is no normal.

Life changes, jobs change, children grow, people pass away, new seasons of life come whether you are prepared for them or not.

Stop worrying about being “normal” or working to get things “back to normal”.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lordʼs holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV

Being rooted and established in Christ means that He is your anchor, your security, your place of rest in the midst of chaos. His love is not shaken. Your hope can rest on Him and not in your present circumstances.

Let go of trying to be normal and focus on being established in love with roots that grow deep in the soil of who Jesus is.

Give Him room in your heart and let Him live through you.

New seasons bring new normals but Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Draw your security from God today and dig in to get the most from this time in your life.

Peace

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You will have many things to worry about today.

Some things you worry about all the time.

Some things you can’t anticipate until they are upon you.

Either way, you can collect worry like it’s your job or you can choose peace.

You have peace with God through Jesus Christ and because of that, you can receive peace from God in every situation.

That doesn’t mean the day before you are not full of challenges, it means that you have already decided to face them with the peace of God ruling your heart rather than the anxiety of man.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Recognize that out of all the decisions you will make today, the most important one will be what you choose to hold onto God’s peace or your worry?

Habits that Sabotage

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We all have old habits that we want to get rid of. We have had those habits for so long that we do them without even thinking about it.

However, there is a particular old habit that Jesus is more concerned about than the one you are thinking of.

It is a habit that belongs to your old nature:  you desire to get your way in everything and work to make sure that your way happens.

It IS human nature.

But my friend, you have a new nature in Christ.

You have been recreated in Him – The old has gone, the new has come.

“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

But old habits die hard.

Those habits are sabotaging your freedom to live in your new nature.

When we struggle, we 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 an old nature habit.

It starts with your thinking.

Ask Jesus to help you change your mind about suffering, breaking habits and the ability to be free to do His will, His way in everything you do.

“Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

Out with the old, in the with new.

It’s not by your power, it’s by His.

My friend, I am praying that today you will break free from the mental habits that are sabotaging your freedom in Christ and that the suffering you are experiencing will break  the power of it.  God’s grace is sufficient. God’s love is unending. God’s strength will get you through.

It’s about Identity

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“Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.”      Hebrews 11:10 MSG

When God called Abraham to leave his country, He was asking him to stop looking at what was behind him and look ahead to what is in front of him.

God is calling you to stop looking back at all the reasons why you can’t be who God has called you to be and keep your eyes on the reason why you can: Jesus.

Any and all reasons why you “can’t” were carried to the cross with Jesus. He took them, embraced them and destroyed them there. Mind you, this isn’t about being in denial about your issues, this is about being clear about your identity in Christ.

When God asked Abraham to leave his past behind, He changed his name,  He gave him a new identity. When God calls you to be His own, He gives you more than a fresh start, He gives you a new identity in Christ.

And He walks with you every day to help you work out your issues and work in your new identity.

It takes a while to see yourself as God sees you and apply it to your life. It is a lifelong journey that takes faith.

“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.”     Hebrews 11: 2 MSG

Can’t Take It With You

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“But godliness with contentment is great gain.

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”

1 Timothy‬ ‭6‬:‭6-7‬ NIV

Things don’t go with you into eternity.

They will stay here to rust and rot.

Don’t waste the precious time you have here worried about things.

Make moments that count.

Create memories that last beyond your lifetime.

Invest in your relationships.

Allow God to move freely in you and through you.

Make your life a story of faith-filled adventure, not one of collecting a lot of stuff that will mean nothing in the light of eternity.

You have today.

Spend each moment savoring the sacred and embracing the enduring truth of God’s unconquerable love in Christ.

Love wins. 

What is Christmas About?

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It is all about relationship.

Not religion.

His birth, every breath, every step, every person Jesus talked to, touched, healed and gave hope to was about relationship.

Restoring it.

Reconciling it.

Renewing your relationship with God.

It is the same today.

Jesus has made Himself available to you every moment of every day not so that He can control you but so He can love you.

So He can restore and renew you.

Jesus is a gift to be opened and experienced every day.

What You Can Do

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Are you living in contentment?

Paul says he has learned the secret of being content:

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:12, 13 NIV

Easy to say, difficult to live, but NOT impossible to do.

YOU CAN do it.

Being discontent can become a way of life and a mindset that will sabotage your joy and peace at every turn. It drains your energy and distorts your vision.

It is NOT God’s will for your life.

Q. What is the secret to being content no matter what is happening in your life?

A. Looking to Jesus for strength. 

Because of Christ in you, you can do whatever is placed before you.

You can be content with:

where you are,
what you are doing,
with your body,
with your age,
with your job,
financially strapped or prosperous,
physically healthy or not,
in conflict or in peace.

YOU CAN do all this and more thru Christ who STRENGTHENS you.

By yourself, you can’t manufacture contentment. You think you need a miracle so you can get something you want. The bigger miracle is to be content with what you already have and trusting God to give you what you need.

There are a lot of things you can’t do right now but one can do is trust God to give you the strength you need for today.