Be You

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John the Baptist faithfully fulfilled what God had called him to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.  More than once John was asked if he was the Messiah.
He replied with this:
A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:27-28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
John the Baptist knew who he was and he knew who he wasn’t – he was not Jesus.
Reminder: There is only one Savior,  Jesus Christ.
You are not tasked with saving people, that is His job and He is good at it.
Your job is to faithfully point people to Jesus.
Knowing who you are and who you are not is vital in carrying out your own God-given assignment.
When God lays a burden on your heart, it will always be bigger than you and it will be something only He can do through you.
Pride burdens you with a sense of importance that only you can fulfill.
Pride traps you in perpetual misery about all the things you can’t do and about all the gifts you don’t have. Humility sets you free to do what God has called you to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.
You are called to faithfully fulfill the assignment God has given you without trying to be someone you are not or function in gifts God has not given you.
John the Baptist held tight to the attitude that defined his life:
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:30‬ ‭NLT‬‬
It is all about Jesus.
Be honest with others about who you are and point people to Jesus.
Be who God made you to be and endeavor to fulfill what God has called you to do.
What have you been given from heaven to do?
Are you doing it?

Take the Plunge

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“He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭MSG

There comes a point in life that your faith becomes stronger by facing the facts.  The facts being that human effort can not achieve the fulfillment of God’s promise. 

That thing that God has called you to? You can’t make it happen. You never could.

Once you really grasp this your faith is set free to rest in God alone.

To be who Jesus has created you to be you are going to have to let go of  “doing your best” and embrace “depending on God”.

This sets you free to shift your focus from yourself and your works to God and His works.

It shifts from giving yourself the glory of “today, I did a good job” or depression of ”I totally missed it” to giving God all the glory for all He has done and will do, instead.

God chose you. 

God chose you to be a partner in the promise but the lion’s share of strength, inspiration, motivation, and miracle is all God’s.

Your part is to receive, rest, wait, and give glory to God.

Your part is to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. 

My friend, don’t tiptoe around God’s promises today, dive into them.  Take the plunge and live fully persuaded. 

The Adventure of a Lifetime

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“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.”
Matthew 6:12 MSG
Right with God, right with others.
Taking stock, taking responsibility.
Receiving grace, giving grace.
Living forgiven, living forgiving.
Everyday.
Jesus said to pray like this so that you could live like this.
Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that life brings you.
What do you need to ask forgiveness for today?
What do you need to forgive someone for today?

How to Not Fret

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Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

After yesterday’s command of “ Do Not Fret” comes the how: Trust in the LORD.

Trust means to lean on and be boldly confident in.

You can be boldly confident in the Lord because He knows what is happening even if you do not. He not only sees the short game – what will happen right now, but He also sees the long game – what will happen down the line.

Trust and do good.

While you trust in God, don’t be idle.

Be productive and creative right where you are.

Dwell in the land – focus your energy on being present today and fully committed to embracing the small moments of wonder and joy.

This season will change and a new season will be upon you before you know it.

Don’t be so focused on what you can’t see that you miss what you can.

Someone within the reach of your grasp needs a hug, needs prayer, needs someone to encourage them – be that someone.

This is your land – where you are today. Make the most of it. Invest in it. Decorate the walls and take pictures of it.

Celebrate what God has given you.

Whatever your day may bring, my friend, I am going to ask you to move the focus of your energy from fretting to trusting.  Lean on Jesus and ask him to sharpen your senses to see the wonder around you. 

Trust. Dwell. Enjoy.

How are you leaning on Jesus today?

What do you need to be doing while you trust God?

What are you celebrating?

Do Not Fret

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“Do not fret”.     ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Not “fretting” is easier said than done.
The original Hebrew word here for fret is “charah” and  it means to kindle oneself with a spark of anxiety or worry, whip it up into an inner frenzy and feed it facts or wonderings until it is a voracious fire in your soul that burns long and hot like the oil fires in the desert.
The picture is one who burns until they are charred.
That is what fretting will do to you.
The King James Version says, “Fret not thyself” which reminds that no one can get me to fret but me.  I do it to myself. It’s not God or others that do it  – I do it.
Do not fret.
It is a command, not a suggestion.
It doesn’t help your situation or your heart. It doesn’t halt, change or stop things from happening. Fretting and incessant worrying steals your focus, burns up your energy and leaves you with a crispy attitude.
It is not your job. 
The rest of the verse tells us that it’s God’s job to deal with what other people are doing. He is good at it.  He knows what is happening. He sees what is going on. Let the Lord worry about what others do or don’t do.
Let God be God.
You do you. 
What is the best thing to do when a spark of fear ignites a frenzy of anxiety?
Douse it with the Word and have your favorite verse handy to pour all over it.
One of my favorites in the face of a good fret is:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The word “affliction” essentially means “pressure”.
My friend, when the pressure is on, spend your energy pursuing hope. Don’t quit when things get hard.  If you must work on something, work on keeping your heart open and filled with the wonder and expanse of God’s love. 
Center yourself in Christ.
Focus on God’s goodness instead of other people’s choices.
Fix your eyes on Jesus and do what he has given you to do today.
Do. Not. Fret.

Destiny

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…right outside of your comfort zone.

“By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going.”

Hebrews 11: 8 MSG

God has a destiny for you. He has a rich inheritance waiting to be claimed.  An inheritance of unhindered relationship with Him. One where you are free to trust, risk, follow and be used by God to bless others in ways you can’t even imagine.

However, you can not fully take hold of it until you break out of your comfort zones: life as you know it, habits that hold you, mindsets that have molded you.

To get where God has called you, you have to leave the place you are in.

Abraham left his country behind and you are going to have to leave the shelter of some strategic comfort zones in order to go after your own God-ordained inheritance.

The good news is that for every comfort zone you step out of, Jesus has a promise for you to step into and His love to guide you.

God is calling you to an unknown place that will become your home. More than a new plot of land, it is a new way of life.

 

What “way of life” needs to go by the wayside today?

What mindset is holding you back from going after what God has called you to?

What are you afraid of?

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