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.
“ And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,”
Hebrews 12:1 NIV
My friend, throw off everything that is holding you back today and go for everything God is calling you to do.
You are graced to run your race (not your neighbor’s race or your sister’s race or your boss’s race – your race).
Run it with perseverance.
When you get tired, rest.
But don’t stop.
Get back on track and run your race until it’s over.
“Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”
Colossians 4:5-6 MSG
Every conversation you have today is an opportunity to love.
To give grace room to heal.
You have permission to:
do the extraordinary thing,
go the extra mile,
be wise and
be intentional with your words.
Be obedient to the little nudges from the Holy Spirit, especially the ones that push you outside your comfort zone.
God has put you where you are for a reason.
Be brave and seize every opportunity Jesus brings you today. It may make more of a difference in someone’s life than you can possibly imagine.
If Jesus brings you to it, do it.
“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 in 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.
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:
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?
“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.
“You are the salt of the earth.”
Matthew 5:13 NIV
When Jesus said that you are the salt of the earth, He is saying that you are valuable and meant to enhance this world with the flavor of His grace. In His day, salt was used as valuable currency, as well as a precious food preservative and additive that enhances flavor.
My friend, wherever God has placed you, whoever He has surrounded you with, whatever job He has given you to do, Jesus has you there for a purpose and it is not as complicated as you think it is.
You are there to add value. That alone is a gift that so many people are craving- simply the recognition that they are valued and they are valuable to God– so valuable that Jesus paid the ultimate price to love them.
You are there to be a precious preservative to the world you live in and in the work you do. Preserve respect, show dignity and honor those around you.
You are there to enhance the essence of who God has created them to be. When you celebrate what God has put in them, you liberate them to see it as well.
May God shake you up and pour you out for someone who desperately needs to know that they are precious and valuable to God. May you bring honor with you and enhance every relationship you engage in today.