Take One Step

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Just one.

But make sure that it is a step of faith.

You will never feel more alive than when you take a step of faith.

When you make the call,
Say the words,
Reach out,
Run ahead,
Or slow down.

You do it before you see results,
without assurance of success,
and not knowing where it will take you.

It is a step of faith.

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

James‬ ‭2‬:‭17‬ NIV

The reverse is true as well- every time you let an opportunity pass to put your faith into action, it dies a little bit.

If you are reading this, you are not dead. Neither is your faith.
Put it into action.

How is your faith?

What step of obedience do you need to take today?

Love Fearlessly

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To love deeply gives you strength.
To be loved deeply gives you courage.

One of the most amazing things about receiving God’s love (and I mean really receiving it- taking it in, letting it sink into your soul, walking in the truth of it, living loved) is that it gives you courage.

Courage to step out of your comfort zone.

Courage to change the way you talk to yourself and to others.

Courage to not give in to old habits, coping mechanisms or escape tactics.

Courage to face your feelings and issues.

Deal with them honestly and work them through because you are loved– completely, unconditionally and fearlessly by God. When you grasp this, even just a bit of it- you will begin to love others fearlessly and let go of fear yourself.

“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.”

1 John 3:18-20 MSG

When anxiety is stealing your joy, you can bet it is also stealing your ability to love fearlessly as well. Put your worries in God’s capable hands and get busy loving the people He has placed in your life.

Have a wonderful fearless- loving day, my friend!

Change

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Change doesn’t occur without courage.

It takes a special kind of stubbornness to start a new thing in your life, to change the course of it. A stubbornness to keep going against the odds and swim against the current.

Life in Christ means that you are being called upon to be a pioneer. He is calling you to be the first in your family to stay married, to break the cycle of unhealthy habits or to break the cycle of emotional or physical abuse.

But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:32-39‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God is asking you to be a change-maker and to be stubborn about it.

Be stubborn about your goals but flexible about your methods. Jesus never did a miracle the same way. Each one was different and unique.

Be creative, use what God has given you and fight for the change you need in your life.

Change worth having is worth fighting for.

Go ahead – be stubborn and courageous today.

Hiding Place

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Sometimes you just need a place to hide for a while.

Something happens and you feel vulnerable and wounded.

You want to crawl back under the covers and not face your world.

Only life doesn’t work that way.

You still have things to do, people to take care of …life demands doing, especially when trouble surrounds.

“For you are my hiding place;

you protect me from trouble.

You surround me with songs of victory.”

Psalm 32:7 NLT

There is a place to hide in for a while that is a healing place.

A safe place.

A place of refuge where gentle songs of victory, thanksgiving, and praise echo all around you.

That place is God himself.

He invites you into Himself and says, “Hide here– let Me be your refuge in the storm”.

Instead of crawling back in bed, crawl under God’s covering of unconditional love in Christ Jesus who has rescued, redeemed and is using the trouble you are facing today to recreate you into a person who rises to the challenge and overcomes it in His strength.

Gentle

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“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why do I need the reminder to “let my gentleness be evident”? I don’t know about you but when I stress, I try to control things. I work to make things to the way I think it should be. When I feel that I am in a battle, I push everyone out, put up my walls and am prepared to fight.

When I am stressed, gentle is the last thing that I am to those around me.

The original Greek word used for gentleness in the verse above describes the heart of someone who will let God fight his battles for Him. It describes a person who has let go of trying to control the situation and allowed God to do what He needs to.

This is where having a relationship with Jesus changes things. It’s where trusting Him impacts how you live because He will never ask you to be something that He isn’t already.

Jesus IS near. 

Jesus says that He is so close that it’s like you’re yoked up with Him. Shoulder to shoulder, walking the same way, with Him bearing the load and directing the path.

He IS gentle. 

Jesus showed us what this kind of gentleness looks like. He focused on His relationship with His Father and only did what God directed Him to. He did not bend to peer pressure, comparison or even try to fit in with anyone other than His Father. He didn’t try to control the situations or people. He focused on being faithful to the part He was given to do and allowed God to work out the rest. 

Jesus lived yoked and yielded long before He offered it to His disciples.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He leads gently so that you can live gently.

Gentle is not weak it is focused trust as well as a deep knowing of who you are and whose you are.

My friend, may you begin to learn to live in the power of leading a gentle life by being yoked and yielded to the gentle Savior today.

Move Beyond Fear

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“By an act of faith, he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents.”  Hebrews 11: 8 MSG

Fear will hold you captive in your comfort zone.

The only way to break fear’s hold is by an act of faith.

To go after all that God has called you to, you are going to have to move beyond the fear that holds you there.

Fear can be overwhelming when it is a general mass of unknown anxiety so you need to name it.  What are you afraid will happen when you step out in faith? Define it or one part of it. Narrow it down, find the core.

But also be aware of this: facing the fear doesn’t take away the emotion of fear but it allows you to replace the lie that fear is telling you with the truth of God’s Word. When you name the fear you disarm it of its power but it takes a while for your emotions to fall in line with your faith.

Courage is feeling the fear and stepping out in faith anyway. 

You may not know where your journey will end up but you can be sure that the God who calls us to step out in faith does.

Faith is choosing to trust God with the path, every step of the way, the detours, the disasters and yes, the destiny.

God is calling you forward, don’t let fear stop you today.

Name your fear: what is it you are afraid of happening if you step out in faith?

Speak God’s truth: what verse inspires you to have courage?

(Mine is Philippians 4:13)

The Grace that Grows you

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The same grace that saves you, grows you.

The same gift of grace through faith in Jesus that lifted you out of the depths of the lost wilderness will guide through the narrow mountain pass before you.

Your faith journey in Jesus begins with grace, continues by grace and will end in grace.

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish!” Ephesians 2:8-9 MSG

The best way to grow to where you want to go is to get in God’s presence and let Him love you. Let Him shower you with amazing grace and uncontainable kindness. This will do more to heal your heart and life than you trying to be better.

Jesus loved you at your worst, loves you where you are at today and will love you where you are tomorrow. This relentless love will give you the courage to do whatever Jesus is asking you to do.

Grace will take you where works never can and do more than your best efforts ever will.

May the God of uncontainable love drench you in His presence.  May His awe-inspiring grace recharge your hope and fill your faith with the courage to trust Him. He has you in the palm of His hand.