God is There With You

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“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Psalm 139:7-10 NIV

No matter where you are – God is with you.

He is there in the light and joyous seasons as well as the heavy and dark ones.

He is there when everything falls apart and there when everything comes together.

He is there when everything suddenly changes and He will bring encouragement, strength, direction, and peace drawn from the unchangeable depths of grace that you will never be able to exhaust.

Wherever you are, God is with you today.

 

Beyond Forgiveness

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Living in hurt because people I loved lied to me in the past doesn’t help me live in peace now. It clutters my soul with bitterness.

Nursing the regret of dealing with people whose pride cut my life to shreds doesn’t help me heal but keeps me living wounded.

Living wounded is not God’s heart for my life or for the state of my soul.

Forgiveness is vital to the soul.

It is balm and healing. Relief and redeeming.

It is vital because you are valuable.

God wants this for you so much that he paid the price on the cross to guarantee you could receive it and give it.

But God has even more for you and your life.

Jesus spoke of it to the crowd that followed Him up a mountain:

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it.

And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff.  Live generously.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:38-42‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What does life beyond forgiveness look like to Jesus?

It is living a life of generosity.

Someone takes advantage of you- give them what you have and move on with your life. Let it go. Forgive them. Ask God to bless them. Someday you may even be able to bless them yourself.

In this way, you will be living in the abundance of God’s love instead of the famine of past hurts.

God doesn’t deny that bad things happen or that people might take advantage of you but He also doesn’t abandon you to it. He empowers you to forgive, reminds you to let go and pours out His Spirit on you so that someday you can even become a blessing to them.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but in Christ, you can.

Crazy right?!?

No, you can’t do it on your own.

It is possible only by God’s grace, mercy, and power.

True freedom is living generously in your heart, spirit, and soul. It is going beyond the bare minimum to abundance in Christ.

Just start with a prayer:

“Jesus, set me so free from bitterness that I can live in your abundance in every area of my life. You made the way, help me to live it.  In your Name, Amen.”

My friend, may you be empowered by Jesus to live a life filled with freedom, wholeness, and generosity in every area of your life.

From Here to There


God’s love is so expansive that there is room enough for you and room enough for all you know. The cross does not have a limited space available sign on it. Jesus stretched out His arms for all of humanity.

God has embraced you completely, placed you within the unearned luxury of His love and given you a part in it.

“But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste.”
1 Corinthians 15:10 MSG

Don’t let God’s grace go to waste.

Don’t let your insecurities dictate your obedience.

Don’t let fear hold you back from living and giving God’s love.

God has placed you where you are for such a time as this.

Embrace it in grace.
Engage in it with grace.

Generously receive it and generously give it.

When you find yourself here, smack dab in the center of God’a grace, you can’t help but want to reach out to those who don’t know that there is room in God’s love for them to.

Don’t waste a second. Someone out there desperately needs to know it.

Hand of Blessing 

  

“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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.

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 blessed, now live it! 

Prepared

  
Each season comes with it’s own challenges, wonders, griefs and gifts.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Just like the seasons of nature, the seasons of life can bring dramatic change. 

Change alone can be the biggest challenge in a new season but don’t let it trip you up. 

God knows your journey and where you are on it. 

We may be surprised, but He is not. 

You may feel unprepared, He is not. 

In fact, He has already given you what you need to rise to the challenge of it. 

“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭AMP‬‬

God has not only prepared you for the path, but He has prepared the path for you.

As you are walking with God, He is working in you. Preparing you to be a blessing,  to be a light, to be a bringer of His love to your family, your friends and anyone else that crosses you path.

Go forward.

Walk in God’s confidence,
rest in God’s grace,
and give God’s love extravently to those who need it (which is pretty much everyone, including yourself).

When Time Stops

““Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:41‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Being overwhelmed isn’t an emotion I like to have. There are always too many things to do and not enough time to do them.

The amazing thing about grace is that it immediately lifts the burden of “everything that should be done” and replaces it with the “one thing that needs to be done “.

What is that “one thing”?

It is sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Begin there.

Drop your to-do list, close your eyes and take some time to sit with Him. Being with Jesus does wonderful things to your priorities- it lines them right up.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to me.

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

(Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

Your Inner Selfie

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Pride lands you flat on your face; humility prepares you for honors. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭29‬:‭23‬ MSG)

At times, it is so obvious. It rises up powerfully and demands self protection.

At times, it is not so obvious. It cloaks itself in sadness and encourages self obsession.

Whether obvious or subtle, pride always centers around self. It is always about you. It is your inner selfie demanding attention, protection, preservation.

The problem with pride is that it can not distinguish between truth and lies. It will fiercely protect whatever it knows even if all it knows is wrong.

The only thing to do with pride is to confess it and ask God to forgive it.

Ask for God’s help today to change your inner selfie and transform it into an inner awareness of His love, His grace and His goodness in your life.

When that happens, humility is born.