Challenge & Change

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God will use today’s challenges to give you the skills you need for tomorrow’s assignment.

Look to Jesus to guide you through it and help you navigate all the way to the other side of it. Don’t give up halfway through. Storms do not last forever but the lessons you could learn from them will.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

It doesn’t matter where it’s coming from, God will use It to get you going in the right direction.

God will use whatever opposition is coming at you as an opportunity to grow your faith and character.

Let Him.

What is God using your current challenge to develop in you?

How To Break the Power of the Past

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The best way to break the power of the past is to forgive.

Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a choice. A choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them. Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them. 

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice.

And every day after, continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  

Colossians 3:13 NIV

Forgiveness is not about trust, it is about freedom.

What is keeping you from forgiving them?

What are you afraid of?

What does Jesus say about it?

Why We Rejoice

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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 because God works through all things.

We don’t wait to rejoice until we have all the answers, we rejoice in knowing that Jesus does.  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.

Insurmountable Problems

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“Have faith in God,”
 Mark 11:22 NIV
Jesus had a teaching moment with his disciples smack dab in the middle of this history-making week. It was right after the Triumphal Entry and before He went to the garden of Gethsemane.
It is easy to miss and easy to misunderstand.
The disciples heard Jesus curse a fig tree on the way to cleanse the Temple.
The tree was advertising fruit with its full leaves but in reality, had none. Jesus is not a fan of false advertising.  On their way back, they saw that it had withered to its roots and was utterly dead.  It wasn’t a winter frost or harsh storm that killed the plant- it was the words Jesus spoke to it.
He told them to “have faith in God”, then gave them an example they would understand:
“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
Mark 11:23 NIV
A “mountain” was used in that day to mean any insurmountable problem.  
God can overcome any obstacle, no matter how big or immovable it seems.
Jesus reveals the secret of His strength: “Have faith in God”.  
Not faith in faith (simply believing whatever you want) or conjuring up a feeling in your heart but faith in God, trusting God. 
Today, my friend, speak to your insurmountable obstacle with words of faith and confidence knowing that God can move the immovable.
He has given you words to speak, to pray, and to proclaim.
Speak them out, lift them up and proclaim that with God nothing is impossible.
Then put the outcome in God’s hands.

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