Gracefully

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“It was God giving me the work to do and God giving me the energy to do it.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:10-11‬ ‭MSG

It is a sweet moment, a defining moment even: The moment you realize that the work of God doesn’t depend on you but that you get to join in the work of God by depending on Him more and more.

“So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it’s all the same: We spoke God’s truth and you entrusted your lives.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:10-11‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What only God can do: set people free, love them relentlessly, deliver them consistently, fill them with His Spirit and His Love.

What only you can do: point people to Jesus.

Love people grace-full-y, speak God’s truth and then let Him do the heavy lifting of changing people’s lives.

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.

Made for Freedom

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Don’t let anyone or anything con you into believing you are a slave again.
Don’t believe the enemy’s lies that you have no choice or power to say NO to old habits, old thought patterns, old temptations, or old addictions or that you have no hope of changing, growing, and transforming.
When the Son sets you free, you are free. 
You are free from the power of sin and it is not your master any more.
So then why does it take so long to learn how to live in this freedom? Why struggle? 
It is because while your spirit has been released from the contract of sin and is legally free, your flesh has been well trained by its former slave master.
The flesh has old habits, temptations, and thought patterns grooved into it through experience and years of practice. 
It takes time, experience and perseverance to create the new grooves of freedom. 
Just as a bird is made to fly, a child of God is made to live in freedom.
However, it is up to you to claim your freedom and learn to walk in it.
It is up to you to learn how to fly with the wings of freedom God has already given you.
“So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free”.  John 8:36 AMP
What old lies are sapping your strength today?
 
What old habits need to be left behind?
 
What new freedom do you long to live in?
Today is a good day to live in freedom…unquestionably.
May your mind be clear, your heart encouraged and your determination to live in the freedom that has been bought for you by the blood of Jesus be fierce in you today. 

Let Us Dare

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“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write”

– John Adams

For this and so much more, I am celebrating America today.

Not because we are perfect but because we are tenacious.

Not because we have it all together but because we are willing to try and keep trying to get it together.

Not because life is easy but because life has always been hard, will not get easier but we are willing to work hard for life.

I celebrate today because I can write, think, speak and pray out loud as an American.

Tonight as I watch the fireworks being lit and fired, I will be thankful that I am alive today in this country at this time.

I will pray that this year I will read ferociously, speak fearlessly, think authentically and write faithfully because I have the freedom to do so.

“I’m thanking you, GOD, from a full heart, I’m writing the book on your wonders. I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I’m singing your song, High God.” Psalm 9:1, 2 MSG

What are you going to do with your freedom this year?

 

 

Not Empty Handed

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“And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed.”

Deuteronomy 15:13 NIV

My friend, when you have been released to live a new life in Christ you do not begin your new life empty-handed.

In the Old Testament when God laid out to the Israelites how their community would work, He put in a clause to assure that those who found themselves in desperate financial situations would have a way out. If they sold themselves into slavery to survive, they would not have to stay a slave forever – it could only last 7 years. Then their owner must release the slave and send them away with the means to begin a new life.

It was called The Lord’s Release.

Jesus is the fulfillment of The Lord’s Release.

God will use what the enemy meant for harm to bring you good and fill your hands with blessings.

God will give you what you need when you need it.

You are not empty handed as a child of God.

He may not show you the end of the new road you are on but He will give you the strength to take each step on it.

You are provided for, equipped and empowered to walk in freedom in Christ today.

Go after all God has called you to do!

Tenderhearted

“A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life.”
‭‭Proverbs  ‭28:14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

You were created to be tenderhearted, to feel life.

To feel the good, the bad, the joy, the sorrow and all the moments in-between.

It seems easier to let your heart go hard when the hurt gets overwhelming and when the betrayal stings.

Don’t do it.

Don’t succumb to the temptation to become brittle and bitter.

Don’t stay stuck there, dwelling on what happened or what should have happened. Don’t let that shape your future.

Fight for a tender heart.

It means that you have to feel the pain and process it. It means you have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with God, not without Him.

It means that you grieve what you have lost all the way through to acceptance so you can live after it.

Stay tender-hearted, my friend.

Don’t let life (or other people’s choices) rob you from living in full color.

Your future will thank you for it.

Jesus died for you to live in it.

God will walk with you all the way through it.

Lord give me thick skin and a tender heart. 

When to Pray

“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”

Jonah 2:1 NIV

When is the best time to pray?

– when you have run from God.

– when you have been disobedient and rebellious.

– when you have done your own thing, your way and find yourself in the center of a  devastating storm.

– when you realize that God is BIGGER than your fear and STRONGER than the storm.

– when you are in the very center of something that is far bigger than you and you have no power to get out of it.

– when you are ready to let go of your preconceived ideas of what God is calling you to and willing to serve wherever you are, with whatever God has given you, right now. 

When is the best time to pray?

NOW… whatever your “now” looks like.

What’s keeping you from prayer? 

What have you been running from? 

What is Jesus asking you to do right now?