Time to Party

Wednesday

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!   Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written seems to hold no reason for such a sentiment.

Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and does not know what the future will hold.

And that is the point.

As Jesus’ followers, our rejoicing is not contingent on circumstances, it bursts through in spite of them.

Are you missing out on joy today because you are waiting for your circumstances to warrant it?

Don’t wait one second more,  joy is a fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of your circumstances (Galatians 5:22).

Receive the gift, invite some friends over and throw a joy party!

Cast It All

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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.

The Imperfect Now

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“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
God will often change your perspective long before He will change your circumstances.
If you wait until your life is perfect to be joyful, you’ll be waiting until you get to heaven.

When is it the right time to be grateful?

Right now.
When is it the right time to shift your focus from what God should be doing “out there” to what God wants to do “in here” (points to self)?
This minute.
Don’t wait one more second.
Be thankful in the imperfect now.
Be thankful for the imperfect you.
Jesus is.
He loves you as you are today and He will work with you to grow you into who He created you to be.
Jesus is using your imperfect life and imperfect self to do a beautiful perfect redeeming work in you.
Let Him.
May you let go of all you can’t control today and give yourself permission to enjoy the imperfect now, embrace your imperfect story and lift your soul up to your perfect, loving, amazing, forgiving, life-giving God.

My Personal Bravery

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“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army;”

‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3:19‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

God knows what you are facing today.

He will give you what you need.

He will stand with you, fight for you and pour courage into you so you can to get back up when you fall down.

Worship Him.

Get lost in the music of heaven.

Let Him remind you that you are His.

When you worship, your circumstances don’t change but they will not have the same effect on you. Instead of causing fear to well up, worship will pour out of your heart.

Because you are God’s, your circumstances will not stop you from going forward but they will be a catalyst to your new life in Christ.

Don’t look to the world to give you what you need. They don’t have it. 

Look to Jesus.

Ask Him to be your personal bravery and give you strength to climb the heights facing you today.

Have a wonderful day spending time with Jesus and drawing from Him what you need.

Take the Gift and Throw a Party

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written hold no reason for such a sentiment. Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and does not know what the future will hold.

And that is the point.

We don’t rejoice because life is good, we rejoice because God is good.

We don’t rejoice only when good things happen – God works through all things.

We don’t wait to rejoice until we have all the answers, we rejoice in knowing that Jesus does.  And He loves you and will be with you whatever comes.

Set your heart to rejoice in Jesus today: who He is, what He has done and that your eternal future is secured by His amazing sacrifice. Your present circumstances are provided for by the strength of His grace no matter what they look like.

We like to rejoice when we get our way but sometimes the harder way is what we actually need to grow in.

Set your mind to delight in a security of the love of Jesus and the mercy of His grace.

Rejoicing when there is nothing to rejoice about is a divine gift that will transform you.

And if you ask Jesus to open your eyes to see what you have right now to rejoice in, He will.

Take the gift and throw a party.

The Imperfect Now

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“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
I was talking to a friend of mine and asking her how she was doing.  She said, “Better, because I’ve stopped asking God to change others or to change the circumstances and have started to ask God to change me. And it’s the first time I’ve had peace this year. He is changing me and I am so thankful.”
If you wait until your life is perfect to be thankful, you’ll be waiting until you get to heaven.

When is it the right time to be thankful?

Right now.
When is it the right time to shift your focus from what God should be doing “out there” to what God wants to do “in here” (points to self)?
This minute.
Don’t wait one more second.
Be thankful in the imperfect now.
Be thankful for the imperfect you.
Jesus is.
He loves you as you are today and He will work with you to grow you into who He created you to be.
Jesus is using your imperfect life and imperfect self to do a beautiful perfect redeeming work in you.
Let Him.
May you let go of all you can’t control today and give yourself permission to enjoy the imperfect now, embrace your imperfect story and lift your soul up to your perfect, loving, amazing, forgiving, life-giving God.

Repeat It

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“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5 NIV‬‬

You can’t see it in the English Translation but in the original language it reads more like this:

“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!” ‬ ‭(Amphlified Version)

It is worth repeating because it is a truth worth believing.

And one you can easily forget.

When you are facing financial stress and can’t see how you are going to make it, go back to this promise. When you are feeling like you don’t have enough, go back to this promise. When you are feeling that you are not enough, go back to this promise – Jesus will not fail you, give you up or leave you without support. He will not leave you helpless. He will not forsake you. He will not relax His hold on you. No never, no never, no never.

Your peace does not lie in enough but in Jesus.

Circumstances will come and go but Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Repeat it and believe it. 

Let Go of Normal

2b5220ff76d2136f911daab59e0b0b05--bedroom-wall-quotes-quote-wall-decalsThere 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, 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. You 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.