The Peace of His Presence

Monday

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”      

2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV

Is worry ruling your life?

There are a lot of things to worry about right now.

Some of them are things you worry about all the time.

Some of them are things that are brand new.

Either way, you can collect worry like it’s your job or you can build a tower of God’s peace around your soul.

You have peace with God through Jesus Christ and because of that, you can receive peace from God in and for every situation.

Out of all the decisions you have to make today, the most important one will be if you choose to hold on to God’s peace or your worry.

May His presence calm your heart and fill you with His peace today.

Surrounded by Love

Thursday

“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. 

You are surrounded by LOVE.

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.

Awake and Aware

Tuesday

But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:11 MSG‬‬

If you are aware of anything today – be aware of God.

If you are afraid of anything – be afraid of getting so busy making a living that you miss making a life.

If you have to make a do to list – put “recognizing God ‘s presence” in the top spot.

Take care of whatever you need to take care of today but make sure to make room for God to interrupt, intervene, and weave Himself into each thing you do with His love, His mercy, His perspective, His grace, His strength and His joy.

If you are wondering whether God is present in your life, He is and He longs to connect with you. You are one of His favorites.

What does being aware of God mean to you?

Have you been so distracted that you are oblivious to God?

May the awareness of God supersede all else as you are embraced by a Savior who loves you unconditionally and completely.

The Impossible Dream

Monday

By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said.  Hebrews 11:11 MSG

We are born dreamers.

As children, we see that world around us and dream about being a part of it. We dream about what our place in the world will be, what we will do, and who we might become.

The dreams revolve around us and what it will mean for us if those dreams come true.

As we grow up, there are some dreams that hold onto us more than we hold onto them.

It is those dreams that feel devastating when they shatter and remain unfulfilled.

We put them in the realm of impossible.

When the Lord told Abraham that Sarah would give birth, she overheard it and laughed (Genesis 18:11).  She laughed not because she thought it was funny but because she thought it ludicrous. The dream of having children probably died when she was in her 60s or 70s.  She had accepted her barrenness.

My friend, God often challenges what you have already accepted.

He will speak a word to you that seems impossible.

Something that seems ludicrous.

Something that you gave up on and now He is asking you to pick up again.

He is asking you to dream again but this time to dream it differently.

How? By placing your hope not in what the dream will do for you but in what God wants to do through you.

God asked Sarah to dream again. She knew she could not make it happen, she already tried. But somewhere deep inside she chose to trust God to do the impossible.

My friend, put your hope in God today.

And when He calls you to dream again, say yes.

 

Headlong Into Worship

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“I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms-I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.”
Psalm 13:5,6 MSG

Instead of being caught up in worry today, throw yourself headlong into worshipping the Lord.

Shut off the TV.

Put on your favorite Worship Playlist or create one and lose yourself in it.

When you worry, you are focused on what if’s, what’s next and what is going to happen?

The shift from worry to worship is like being transported to another world. The tightness in your chest releases and opens up, faith floods in and overflows.

When you worship, you are focused on God’s faithfulness, goodness, and love.

The things you are worried about might not change but by changing your focus from worry to worship you will dramatically change how you experience them.

When David wrote this, he was in the middle of a battle. He had not seen the rescue or seen his prayers answered yet but he had decided he was tired of looking at the battle and looked up to God instead.

He decided to celebrate the coming rescue, fill his heart with the kind of overflowing gratitude that comes when you see the answer to your prayers. David just didn’t feel like waiting until he saw it- he wanted to celebrate the victory now.

You know what I love about God? He doesn’t mind when I decide to party prematurely. He doesn’t shake his finger at you and says, “You just need to wait until you see it with your eyes then you can celebrate”.

No, that is the world’s way. God’s way is to celebrate before the battle is won, say thank you before you get the gift and worship in the jail cell before you are released.

Because the battle has been won on the cross, the gifts are on their way and
the release has already been secured by Jesus himself.

It is time to break away from worry and break into worship, my friend.

To throw yourself headlong into the arms of Jesus and worship Him for all He has done, all He will do and most of all – for who He is. He is Lord, Savior, Redeemer and the Son of God.

What is your favorite worship song or album?

When was the last time you shut out the world, pumped up the volume and surrounded yourself in worship?

Make it happen right now.

I promise, you won’t regret it. 

 

Ready to Help

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Faith is trust.

Striving is not the solution.
Stressing out is not the solution.
Surrender is the solution.

Surrender yourself to God.
Surrender your situation to God.
Surrender your fears to God.

This isn’t about giving up but it is very much about giving over of yourself into God’s hands.

Not because you understand how God can work a miracle but by believing He can work a miracle.

Surrender is about trusting Him to be who He is your loving Father.

Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you, we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what.

Who or what can get to me?”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:5-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Surrender your fears and embrace faith in your loving heavenly Father who sent His Son to die for you so that He could have you for all of eternity. 

He is faithful.

He will not fail you.

He will not abandon you.

Your Father is here, ready to help.

What do you need help with today?

 

 

 

Trust God Today

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I want to encourage you today that no matter how dark the situation may seem, to trust God to do something about it anyway.

I want to challenge you to dare to trust Him in the desert. There IS a promised land and you are on your way to it.

“When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:17-18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

My prayer is that you will decide to live your life not based on what you can’t do but on what God can do through you.

Long before he saw the fruit of the promise, Abraham believed God.

Though everything in his life seemed to indicate otherwise, He lived his life, every day, not looking at the impossibility of the promise but in the possibility of God.

Because God initiated it, Abraham believed that God would fulfill it.

I am sure that there were times that Abraham barely believed. I know that there were days that he was only holding on to a bare thread of hope…but he held on.

God can do the impossible in you and through you.

Hold on.

Hold on, my friend, you may have only had a thread of hope but in Christ, that thread is stronger than what you face and will hold against that which you fear.

Through a Prison

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“In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel

Ephesians‬ ‭4:1‭ MSG‬‬

In light of this: God can do more than you can ask or imagine. 

In light of God’s ability, not your ability.

In light of God’s worthiness, not your worthiness.

In light of God’s power, not your power – RUN on the road God has called you to travel.

God has not called you to run on someone else’s road but your road. 

This is your journey, your family, your school, your job, your road. 

The road God has called you to travel has more to do with your character than your career- who He wants you to be rather than what he wants you to do for a living.

Paul’s road led him through prison but he did not see it as God’s failure but as an opportunity for God to use him where he was. He saw it as a part of his path.

Paul went to prison but did not stop there nor was he defined by it.

Paul’s identity was defined by his relationship to God through Jesus and by his passion to share that truth with everyone that crossed his path: guards, fellow prisoners, politicians and anyone else who God brought to him.

This is how you are to do it: anchor your identity in Jesus and share the good news of the gospel with every person who crosses your path. 

Who are the people you are surrounded by in your everyday life? 

This is who God wants to reach through you. This is who God wants to use you to encourage, love, and share the good news of the gospel with today.

Set your heart to love, your hands to serve and your feet to run your road empowered by God’s amazing grace. 

Take the Plunge

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“He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭MSG

There comes a point in life that your faith becomes stronger by facing the facts.  The facts being that human effort can not achieve the fulfillment of God’s promise. 

That thing that God has called you to? You can’t make it happen. You never could.

Once you really grasp this your faith is set free to rest in God alone.

To be who Jesus has created you to be you are going to have to let go of  “doing your best” and embrace “depending on God”.

This sets you free to shift your focus from yourself and your works to God and His works.

It shifts from giving yourself the glory of “today, I did a good job” or depression of ”I totally missed it” to giving God all the glory for all He has done and will do, instead.

God chose you. 

God chose you to be a partner in the promise but the lion’s share of strength, inspiration, motivation, and miracle is all God’s.

Your part is to receive, rest, wait, and give glory to God.

Your part is to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. 

My friend, don’t tiptoe around God’s promises today, dive into them.  Take the plunge and live fully persuaded. 

Take Possession​

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“See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”  ‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God keeps His promises.

It may take longer than you expect and look vastly different than you imagine but nonetheless, God keeps His promises.

God said, “See, I have given you this land.” Past Tense. Already Yours. Deed signed over.

This is your land. He gave it to the children of Isreal but He didn’t clear it of giants and opposition. He didn’t flatten the mountains or clear the forests.

Talk about a fixer-upper.

God didn’t remove the obstacles but He empowered His children to overcome them.

Sometimes we want the Lord to lead us to the promised land like we want to be chosen for “Dream Home” TV Show. We want God to come in, get a vision, tell us to take a vacation for a week and then come back and move into a brand new life.

We want Him to do all the work and give us the keys.

Jesus will lead you to your promised land. He will show it to you and give you a glimpse of what it could be.

He will tell you the truth- that it’s already yours, he paid for it on the cross.

But you are going to have to do the work, fight the battles and clear the land.

He will walk with you, renovate with you, fight with you, clear the land with you.

Jesus will empower you to do what you need to do when you need to do it.

Don’t hold back.
God keeps his promises.