Strong in Grace

01

“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?

Impossibility

img_4991-1

In Exodus 14 the Israelites were stuck between the sea before them and their former slave masters coming to recapture them. It was an impossible situation.

“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 new found 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 be afraid (don’t let fear dictate your decisions).

2. Stand still and watch the LORD rescue you (stop trying to fix the situation yourself. Let God work).

The LORD Himself will fight for you. 

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

Trust Him and watch what He is about to do.

You Belong to Christ

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:24-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Don’t let the enemy deceive you into believing are still a slave to your flesh and subject to it’s every whim.

You are not a slave to your flesh, you are child of God.

You are chosen, loved, provided for and empowered to live your life in and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

You belong to Christ, you have permission to live like it.

Free

2015/01/img_0014.jpg
Know the truth and the truth will set you free.

The truth is a person, not an idea or a statement.

Jesus is the truth.

All truth comes from Him, dwells in Him, exists because of Him.

Have a relationship with The Truth and He changes your life, one decision at a time.

Ask Jesus to give you wisdom and He does.

Ask Him to give you strength and a way out of temptation and He will.

Jesus speaks to you through His word and you listen. His Spirit moves in your heart and you obey.

It is a two way relationship and it will indeed, set you free.

” Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31, 32 NIV)

Focus on your relationship with Jesus instead of your ability to “be free”.

He came to set you free and didn’t give you a list of things to do.

He gives Himself to you.

Know the truth and
the truth will set you free.

Letting Go

IMG_0071.JPG

“let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Hebrews 12:1b NIV

Can you imagine what it might be like to run with faith unhindered and un-entangled?

To not trip on THAT one sin that always pulls you down?

To go to God for what you need instead of _____________ (fill in the blank).

To serve Him freely and be able to focus completely on what He has set before you without the vines of habitual sin entangling around your ankles or the hinderance of what is always holding you back.

If our forefathers and foremothers could sit you and down give you a word of advice, they would say this: “Get rid of it. Your life is precious and short. The sooner you throw off what hinders you from walking in full obedience the better.”

What is the thing that hinders you from full obedience to God?

What is the sin that so easily entangled and trips you up?

Both things have been broken by the power of the Cross. Jesus has already taken the punishment so that you could run without them- so that you could run free.

Let go, throw it off and learn how to run free in Christ.

How is Your Serve?

Sometimes you hold back from giving yourself completely and really putting your heart into it because you are afraid of getting hurt. Maybe your gift was misinterpreted in the past or wasn’t received the way you hoped it would.

So you hold back.
You don’t put your heart into it.
You just do the bare minimum.
You justify not serving because you think, “well, they won’t even appreciate it anyway”.

But you are not made to live half- hearted. You are not given gifts to only give them halfway or with conditions.

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, (Ephesians 6:7 NIV)

You have been created to live wholehearted and to serve wholehearted.

How? By knowing that you are really serving The Lord, not people.

That EVERYTIME you are putting your heart out there in service it is for God, not for a thank you from someone.

How is your serve?

Is it half hearted?
Be brave.

Know who you are really serving, then let go of your fear and go for it!

20140401-140105.jpg

Fear

Fear is the nagging worry hunting down your joy.
It is the heart stopping uncertainty of the unknown.
Fear is the lie that we believe to be true,
The False Evidence AppearingReal.

Fear suffocates and sabotages our relationships.
It undermines our confidence and often distracts us from our purpose.
Whether your fears are big or small, they effect your life.

And the biggest fear of all is fear of death.
Every other fear pales in comparison to it.

God took care of this one first and sent His Son to pay the penalty of sin- death. To offer forgiveness to those who don’t deserve it. He laid it all down and took my sin upon himself. I don’t fear death anymore because Jesus died. I have accepted His gift of eternal life, eternity spent in the bosom of the Holy One. I ask God to help me face and conquer my fears because Jesus lives. He rose from the grave. He is my ever present help in trouble.

God took care the big one first. Then He spoke words, “Do not fear” over 365 times in the Word. He knows that fear will effect our lives as long as we live on this earth. But He doesn’t take what we fear away- He gives us the courage to overcome it.

A friend of mine who was paralyzed by crippling fear after years of abuse by her husband, told me that the day she was set free from it was when she heard the Lord tell her to “Fear Me more than you fear fear.”

God’s power is unlimited.
Fear God more than you fear your fear.

The only way to truly be free from fear is to put it in the right perspective: next to God.

Next to my powerful God,what I fear is powerless.

He freed me from all my fears.”
(Psalms 34:4)