Grow Your Gift

Friday

“For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In California, we had a fireplace in our little living room that we would use to warm the house during the few cold, damp winter months. I loved the warmth but I loved the ambiance that it created. I actually had a terrible time keeping it going.  My husband was fabulous at it. I would watch him carefully build it, pay attention to it, poke at it, feed it and adjust it until it was a blazing fire warming the whole house. There were days when he would get the fire started for me in the morning and then leave. I would gaze into the flames for a few minutes and then get engrossed in reading or writing. I would forget about the fire until I realized it was only a smoldering pile of half-burnt wood. It gave me an appreciation of what “fanning the Flame” means.

When God gives you a gift, it comes as a spark. A small light with great potential but will not grow unless it is fed, prodded, poked and paid attention to.

Jesus gives it to you and expects YOU to fan it into a fire.

God gives you the gift but expects you to grow it.

The verse after “fan the flame” is “God has not given us a Spirit of fear”.  God knows that fear is the number one reason we don’t grow our gifts, so he gives us something more powerful than fear: Himself.

When God sparks a gift for you to use and grow in, He helps you grow it with three key things:

Power


Love


Self Discipline

Don’t focus on the fear, my friend. Focus on the Spirit of God within you and fan the flame of what Jesus has given to you.

What has God sparked in you?

What are you doing to grow it?

What is stopping you?

Live Whole

Monday

The world gives us great lessons on how to fake it until you make it, how to function in dysfunction and how to “live well” while being utterly broken inside.

Jesus offers life lessons in how to “live whole” through a daily relationship with Him.  As you let Him love you through His grace, He begins to heal what is broken and restore what has been lost or stolen. 

In this personal, one-on-one relationship, Jesus works from the inside out to restore your mind, heal your heart, fill your soul, and ignite your spirit to God’s original design.

He wants to teach you how to live.

How to love fully and be loved fully.

How to live trusting and trusted.

How to live nurtured and nourished.

How to lead yourself and how to lead others.

“The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”

Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭21-24‬ MSG

It takes time and perseverance.

God provides the time, we provide the perseverance.

Jesus will not give up on you.

Don’t give up yourself.

Let go of your fear and lean into His grace.

The Gift of You

Thursday
God has given you gifts. 
All kinds. 
Some come as talent.
Others are revealed in character. 
Some are gifts to you as well as through you that bring such joy that you can’t wait to share them.
Some are so close to your heart that you are afraid to reveal them. 
The gift that you are
with your smile and words, 
your hands and heart,
how you cook or clean, 
create or organize, 
how you lead and follow, 
bless and pray 
is meant to be given, not hidden.
Salt is made for seasoning.
Light is made for lighting. 
Gifts are made for giving.
The more precious they are to you, the more powerful they will be for others.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The gifts you have been given are to be given away: to serve, to love, to mend, to tend, to bless, to build.
What gift is Jesus asking you to give today?
What opportunities is He giving you to bring the uniqueness of you into?

Heavenly Peace

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As you count down the days to Christmas, take a minute to focus on what is important and in the craziness continue to refocus on your Creator.
It is His love you are celebrating.
This miraculous gift of the Son, this unquenchable love of the Father, this daily guide of the Spirit.
“for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Instead of replaying past moments or creating perfect scenarios in your head of the near future, let it be what it will be. 
Enjoy the imperfections of this day and those to come.
Know that everything “being perfect” will not create the feeling of fulfillment you are looking for.
You are looking for love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness…. and these are fruits of the Spirit (not fruits of the season). 
May you be filled with the Heavenly Peace of God’s Spirit as you walk among the complicated chaos of the humans around you.

Useless Regrets

No-regrets-just-lessons-learned

God knows you.

He knows your strengths and weaknesses.

He knows every regret you have ever had and why you have it.

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.”

Psalm‬ ‭139‬:‭1‬ NIV

More than that, God knows how you can grow from it.

God can change your regret into a gift.

God can turn a memory of disappointment into a moment of discovery, a revelation of wisdom, a catalyst for change.

You don’t have to repeat the past. You don’t have to live with regret.

In Christ, you are a new creation and have His power within you to change, to transform, to grow.

Useless regrets are the ones you don’t learn from.

My prayer for you is that there will be NO useless regrets in your life.

What does God want to teach you from it?

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?

The Gift of You

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God has given you gifts. 
All kinds. 
Some come as talent.
Others are revealed in character. 
Some are gifts to you as well as through you that bring such joy that you can’t wait to share them.
Some are so close to your heart that you are afraid to reveal them. 
The gift that you are
with your smile and words, 
your hands and heart,
how you cook or clean, 
create or organize, 
how you lead and follow, 
bless and pray 
is meant to be given, not hidden.
Salt is made for seasoning.
Light is made for lighting. 
Gifts are made for giving.
The more precious they are to you, the more powerful they will be for others.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The gifts you have been given are to be given away: to serve, to love, to mend, to tend, to bless, to build.
What gift is Jesus asking you to give today?
What opportunities is He giving you to bring the uniqueness of you into?

The Grace that Grows you

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The same grace that saves you, grows you.

The same gift of grace through faith in Jesus that lifted you out of the depths of the lost wilderness will guide through the narrow mountain pass before you.

Your faith journey in Jesus begins with grace, continues by grace and will end in grace.

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish!” Ephesians 2:8-9 MSG

The best way to grow to where you want to go is to get in God’s presence and let Him love you. Let Him shower you with amazing grace and uncontainable kindness. This will do more to heal your heart and life than you trying to be better.

Jesus loved you at your worst, loves you where you are at today and will love you where you are tomorrow. This relentless love will give you the courage to do whatever Jesus is asking you to do.

Grace will take you where works never can and do more than your best efforts ever will.

May the God of uncontainable love drench you in His presence.  May His awe-inspiring grace recharge your hope and fill your faith with the courage to trust Him. He has you in the palm of His hand.

 

The Feels

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Feelings are the colors of the soul and a part of being human.

Feelings are a gift.

They are indicators and gauges, letting us know where we are emotionally and what is going on inside.

Feelings are not based on truths but perceptions. You can not base your life on them.

They are a gift for you to experience, not a guide for you to follow.

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭4‬ NIV

Feelings will ebb and flow, change and shift but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

He is the truth you can build your life on and the guide for you to follow. He is the rock that will not be moved and the faithfulness that does not fail.

What you feel is valid and real. They are real feelings. Feel them, then look to Jesus and ask Him to show you what to do with them.

What feelings are you experiencing?

Do they line up with the truth of God’s Word?

What is Jesus guiding you to do today?

Grace

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The same grace that saves you, grows you.

The same gift of grace through faith in Jesus that lifted you out of the depths of the lost wilderness will guide through the narrow mountain pass.

This amazing journey begins with grace, continues by grace and will end in grace.

 

‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”    Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

Your works do not build a bridge to heaven, they are the evidence of God’s grace in your life.

Receive God’s grace.

Respond to others with God’s grace.

Rest completely in God’s grace.

Grace will take you where works never can and do more than your best efforts ever will.

My friend, let God be God and give His grace lots of room to move in you and through you today.