This Is Love

This is love: He loved us long before we loved him. It was his love, not ours. He proved it by sending his Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins. Delightfully loved ones, if he loved us with such tremendous love, then ‘loving one another’ should be our way of life!”  1 John 4:10-11 The Passion Translation

We are loved long before we love God.

However, it seems to me that the majority of the time, we are trying to grow our love for God instead of living in the expanse of God’s proven love for us.

We work hard to do the right things instead of simply resting in the righteousness of Jesus, the rightness of Jesus.

He was right with God, He sacrificed Himself so we could be right with God. It’s done.

That is it.

That is love.

When we stop striving to be good enough for God to love and simply receive the unearnable love of God, it feels like a gift.

Because it is.

Are you living loved or striving for it today?

You are accepted right this minute. You are forgiven right this minute. You are delightfully loved right this minute.

Receive the gift of being ridiculously loved right this minute.

Then love someone else in the same way God is loving you: ridiculously, completely and luxuriously.

May the luxurious love of God for you transform the way you see yourself and treat yourself today. Then may it spill over onto everyone else.

Living Forgiven

“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.” Matthew 6:12 MSG

Jesus, keep us:

Right with God, right with others.

Taking stock, taking responsibility.

Receiving grace, giving grace.

Living forgiven, living forgiving.

Everyday.

Jesus lived like this and then said, “follow me”.

Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that God has for you.

Don’t miss it.

Who do you need to forgive today?

Who do you need to ask for forgiveness from?

Find Rest Here

I want to remind you that you have a place of refuge in Christ.

He is like a fortress of strength to love from.

He is a tower of trust to give from.

Live from the truth of who Jesus is and what he has done for you on the cross.

You are restored and redeemed. 

You are accepted and forgiven. 

You are cherished and loved. 

When the strong sun of adversity beats down, rest in Shaddai’s shadow. Tuck yourself into His side and remind yourself whose you are.

“You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this:‘GOD, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!’ That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.

His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-5 MSG‬‬

When fear screams the loudest, run to the refuge of the cross. Jesus died for you so that you could have this: an unhindered relationship with your Father in heaven who has strong arms and strong love. 

Fear nothing. 

Hide in Him. 

This is where you find rest.

Living Forgiven

and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in His name to all nations”

Luke 24:47 MSG

There is no greater sense of purpose than accepting God’s power to make a 180-degree turn and change.

This doesn’t just happen once.

It isn’t reserved only for “the first time” you recognize you are in need of salvation but is a privileged right of every child of God, no matter how long (or how little) you have let Jesus love you.

It is the ONE thing that keeps your relationship with God thriving and alive – asking for forgiveness.

Get before God today and lay down all that is holding you back.

Every day.
Once a week.
Once a month.
Once a year.
Whatever it takes.

The more the better.

I have learned that I need the time and space to search my heart, to be real before God, to mourn my own weaknesses, to own my mistakes and get the neglected areas of my heart right with God.

How is your heart?

When was the last time you made time to spend time with God and ask Him to cleanse your soul?

Make time for it – right now.

What gets scheduled gets done.

Be brave.

You are worth it.

Trust God

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Whatever today brings, I want to remind you to trust God in it.

Trust that He has your present provided for. Jesus will give you what you need when you need it to deal with what is happening right now.

Trust that He will heal your past. There is no sin stronger than the blood of Jesus and there is no hurt His love can’t heal.

Trust that He has your future in the palm of His hand. Jesus is preparing a place for you and preparing you for the place. Stressing about it helps no one. Rest in Him and wait.

Take a deep breath and fix your eyes on Jesus. 

Trust Jesus.

Few Words, Big Impact

Tuesday-April 28

After a month of the world living at home, we are all experiencing the power of words. The words on the news, the words on social media, and most definitely, the words spoken in your home.

Here are a few small sentences that can make a big difference to someone you love today:

Don’t give up.

I forgive you.

I love you.

I miss you.

Pray for me.

Go for it.

You matter.

Forgive me.

Let go.

Yes.

No.

Which sentence do you need to say today?

Jesus used small sentences too:

Follow me.

You are forgiven.

Stand up and walk.

I am He.

Pray like this.

Be healed.

Which one do you need to hear today?

The most important things are said in the smallest of sentencesUse them, receive them, say them to someone who needs to hear the truth of them today. 

 

You are Made to be Free

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“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”
Psalm 25:15 NIV
There is a point in your life when you realize that God is the only one who can release you from a snare.
A small but strong string of hurt, fear or unforgiveness that has wrapped around your heart and is tripping you up or holding you back.
It might have been set by someone else by action or word or it may have been something you inadvertently set for yourself: an inner vow to never trust again or never ask for help because you got rejected last time you did.
It’s frustrating.
It can almost become crippling.
Here is the thing: 
The one who hurt you, can’t heal you.    
You think that the words “I’m sorry” will heal you but they will not.
You don’t need an apology to be whole, you need Jesus to make you whole.
He is the only one who can heal your heart. He made it, will remake it and will continue to bring up the little snares that need to be healed because they hold you back from who you are created to be.
Who are you looking at to make you whole?
If they are anywhere else but Jesus, you will be disappointed and frustrated.
Look to the Lord to release you from the snare that is holding you back today.
What is that snare?
What is Jesus asking you to do about it?

Hemmed In

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“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You may feel like you are on your own to deal with life.

That you are on your own to deal with stress.

On your own to make it happen, whatever “it” is, but you are not on your own, you are God’s beloved child.

His love goes before you and His grace follows behind you.

You are cherished and provided for, guided and anointed to walk confidently in God’s love.

God goes before you to make a way where there seems to be no way, He sets up divine appointments for you to walk in and he brings people across your path that need you.

He blesses you with what you need, to do what He has called you to do.

His hand of blessing is on your head. He has hemmed you in His love.

That means in ALL that you do, big or small, his hand of blessing is on it- because his hand of blessing is on you.

My prayer for you is that you will begin to see yourself in the light of God’s passionate love for you:

He has chosen you.
Rescued you.
Provided for you.
Forgiven you.
Equipped you.
Goes before you.
Follows up after you.

God’s love is not like man’s love. He is not controlling you, He is surrounding you with Himself and there is more freedom in his presence than anywhere else in the world.

“For in him we live and move and have our being.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In Jesus, you have permission to live fully in God’s grace and walk confidently with His hand of blessing on you.

You are beloved and surrounded by Him. Set your fear aside and walk confidently in His love today.

Living Forgiven

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“and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in His name to all nations”

Luke 24:47 MSG

There is no greater sense of purpose than accepting God’s power to make a 180-degree turn and change.

This doesn’t just happen once.

It isn’t reserved only for “the first time” you recognize you are in need of salvation but is a privileged right of every child of God, no matter how long (or how little) you have let Jesus love you.

It is the ONE thing that keeps your relationship with God thriving and alive- asking for forgiveness.

Get before God today and lay down all that is holding you back.

Every day.
Once a week.
Once a month.
Once a year.
Whatever it takes.

The more the better.

One of the reasons I need to go away by myself for a couple of days a year.  I have learned that I need the time and space to search my heart, to be real before God, to mourn my own weaknesses, to own my mistakes and get the neglected areas of my heart right with God.

Be brave.

I love the quote that says “if you don’t like where you are at, change it. You are not a tree”.

No, you are not a tree, in Christ, you are a child of God.

What do you need to lay down before the cross?

How is your heart? It is cluttered and clogged?

When was the last time you made time to spend time with God and ask Him to cleanse your soul?

Now is a good time.

Strong in Grace

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“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The grace of Jesus means that you are loved recklessly just as you are. It means that you already have God’s approval. It means that you are completely forgiven and free.

It means that you no longer have to walk a road chosen for you by sin and brokenness. The strong and stubborn grace that is in Jesus means that you are free to journey down a new road, an unknown road, the road made clear by the cross. A road that comes with the companion of a Savior who is all about restoring that which was lost and getting you where He originally meant for you to be.

The grace that is in Christ Jesus drove Him from heaven to walk on earth for the sake of love. It drove Him to restore, heal, reach out to the “down and outs” and anger the religious powers that be.  It drove Him to become the perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice of a Holy God to restore precious sons and daughters who would have no hope of restoring themselves to a good, good Heavenly Father.

Get busy receiving God’s amazing love today.  Give Jesus the condemnation that is bearing down on your head and let Him wrap His arms of compassion, dripping with grace, around your soul.

You may perceive weakness as a failure but God perceives it as reality.  A reality that when acknowledged allows you to fully receive God’s strength. Jesus does not ask you to make your resolve stronger, He asks you to make your dependence on Him deeper.

How are you going to be strong in the grace of Christ Jesus today?