Us vs. Them

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There is no such thing as “us” and “them” in the kingdom of God.

There is just us.

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as “those evil people” or “those poor people who need our help.” Nor must we search for signs of “love-worthiness”.  Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.

– Phillip Yancey

We are all in need of the grace and mercy of God…everyday.

Give some to yourself today and give some to someone else too, I guarantee they need it.

One Small Stone

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David believed that God could use a small stone placed in the hand of a young boy to change the momentum of a critical battle. He had faith that God could use a small thing to conquer a big enemy.

“Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.”

1 Samuel 17:49 NIV

It is not the size of what is in your hand but the size of the God in your heart.

God has chosen you.
He walks with you.

You can fearlessly face the giant before you because God is in you.

You already have what you need, step out and use it.

Don’t place your faith in what you have, place your faith in God.

He will use the small thing in your hand to do the big thing you have been praying for.

What small thing has God placed in your hand?

What is God asking you to do with it?

Your Promised Land

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Where is your promised land?
Where you now reside.

The secret of walking in faith is recognizing that your promised land is not somewhere else but right here.

It is where you are right now but transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your life transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your marriage transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your workplace transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your parenting transformed by God’s intervention.

It is you- transformed by God’s intervention.

Walking in faith, not in the flesh, in grace, not legalism, in love, not hate.

Close your eyes. Open the eyes of your heart and ask God to give you His vision for your life.

With eyes of faith see the promised land laid out before you.

Taste the bounty you will cultivate, the joy of habitation.

Fall in love with the hope-filled future God has planned for you.

Then with courage and tenacity walk hand in hand with God. Grow forward in faith and take hold of your purpose, one step at a time. Hold nothing back from His loving gaze or hand of grace.

There are unimaginable blessings awaiting those who will walk in the purposes of God, hand-in-hand with Him. You have barely scratched the surface. Now, as it was then, your faith will become sight and you will see with your own eyes the promises of God come to pass.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV

unexpected turbulence

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You have been redeemed by Jesus to live a God discovering, God serving, God-ordained life.
But that doesn’t mean it is easy.
There will be storms that you must go through.
There will be higher altitudes to climb to.
There will be unexpected turbulence along the way.
I dislike turbulence.  I have boarded the plane and taken off, I am heading to the right destination and suddenly everything begins to shake. It’s always unexpected, it always makes me feel afraid and I always have to talk my heart rate down as the plane passes through it and returns to normal.
Getting on board with Jesus’s plan for your life is an amazing journey and is totally worth it. But He doesn’t promise that your non-stop flight to heaven will be free of trial and turbulence.
You will experience something that will disrupt you, shakes you up and scares you. You may even begin to wonder if you will get to your destination.
You may think that freedom in Christ means that there will be no suffering.  It doesn’t work that way.  Jesus paid for your freedom by suffering, not so you would never suffer, but so you may use the suffering season to experience more of His grace and power.  He doesn’t cause the disruptions but He will use it.  Jesus will use the disruptions to draw you closer to Him.
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:2-4 NIV
Jesus knows where you are on the journey and what is disrupting it. He will be with you through it all, give you what you need to deal with it and through His power develop a deep well of hope that you can use for the rest of your life.

Impossible Situations

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It was an impossible situation.

The Israelites were stuck between the sea and their former slave masters coming to recapture them:

“But Moses told the people,

‘Don’t be afraid.

Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.

The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.

The LORD himself will fight for you.

Just stay calm.”’

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hemmed in by the mountains on both sides, they had no way out and no way forward. Their newfound freedom seemed fleetingly short and ultimately doomed.

They knew that God had delivered them from slavery but little more. They had not been free long enough to learn how powerful He is. They didn’t know that He would fight for them, split the sea before them and rescue them from an impossible situation.

They did not know God…yet.

When you don’t want to go back but don’t know how you are going to go forward, trust God and:

1. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions.

2. Don’t run around trying to figure out what to do. Stop. Pray. Listen. Stand still and watch the LORD work.

When going forward looks like an impossibility, God is not punishing you, He is teaching you more about Himself. 

The LORD Himself will fight for you. 

Trust Him and watch what He is about to do.

Mistake Making

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You are going to make a mistake today.
It will not be the end of the world.
Failure is not fatal.
Jesus told a story in Matthew 25 about a servant who was so afraid to make a mistake that he decided to do nothing. He took what his master gave him to invest and he buried it.
The story ends with these words,
“Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most.
And get rid of this ‘play-it-safe’ who won’t go out on a limb.”
Matthew 25: 24,26,30 MSG
God is calling you to grow. Take what He has given you and invest it.
You will never get anywhere if you run back to what you know at every challenge.
A mistake means that you are trying, so pick yourself up off the ground and try again.
Do something new.
Relate to people in a new way.
Reach out beyond your comfort zone.
Take that step of faith …again.
Risk failure.
My friend, get out there and make some new mistakes today.  Get out of your comfort zone, risk and do something with the gifts God has placed in your hands.

Today

I wanted to remind you that today hasn’t happened yet.
It is a day yet to be lived.
It is a page in your story that is unwritten.

Just because your story has been going one way up until today, doesn’t mean it has to continue that way.

Just because you made a bad decision yesterday, doesn’t mean you have to make one today…or tomorrow.
Just because you are in a habit that is unhealthy yesterday, doesn’t mean you have to repeat it today.

You have the freedom of choice and you have the power to change.

Today is unwritten.
God has a plan.
You have the pen.

Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.  Philippians 4:13 MSG