Press On

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.PHILIPPIANS 3:12 NIV

Today, I want to challenge you to let go of:

– trying to earn God’s love (He already loves you).

– your fear of failure (you have nothing to prove).

– perfectionism (you have nothing to fear).

– habits that sabotage your growth (you don’t need them anymore).

– trying to control everything (you can’t anyway and it’s exhausting to try).

And I want to encourage you to take hold of:

– God’s grace.

– your faith in Jesus.

– the vision Jesus has for your life.

– the hope of love’s transformation.

– trusting Jesus with it all.

Jesus will not give up on you or let go of you.

He loves you so much that He will continually press you to press on to become who He has created you to be.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12 ‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Let go of what is holding you back and go after with all your heart all that God has for you.

Take the Step

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” ‭‭ISAIAH‬ ‭41:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Faith is about taking the first step.

Faith is taking the first step when are you are nervous, uncomfortable, and anxious.

It is about trusting God more than trusting your feelings. 

It is trusting God to give you what you need to take the first step.

Faith is the action of doing what God is telling you to do and trusting Him that it is the right thing.

Every time you use whatever faith you have (whether it be little or large) to step out in obedience, you are trusting God to walk with you every step of the way.

So go ahead, take the first step.

Then the next and the one after that.

All the while believing that the God who loves you (and He does) will empower you to do it.

What step is God asking you to take today?

Whatever You Are Facing

“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

Whatever you are facing, 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 is there when everything stays the same.

He is there.

With You.

Right Now.

And He will bring encouragement, strength, direction, and peace from the unchangeable depths of grace that you will never be able to exhaust.

Whatever you are facing, whatever is happening, whatever seems too big for you to handle, God is there and He is with you in the midst of it all. God is with you.

Burden Bearer

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”PSALM‬ ‭68‬:‭19‬ NIV

Every day also brings old memories that linger, mistakes still bearing consequences, fears that refuse to die, emotional baggage that demands space and attention.

Every day brings new choices to make, new challenges to face, new fears to conquer, new burdens to bear.

God will bear your burdens every day. 

Old, new, heavy or light.

Everyday.

You may not know what burdens will be thrust upon you today but God does. 

He stands with open arms and strong shoulders to bear them for you.

What burden do you need God to bear today?

The Journey To A Sacred Place

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” PSALM 84:5 NIV

A pilgrimage is the journey to a sacred place.

A pilgrimage for a Jesus follower is not about going somewhere that God has been before, it is inviting Him into where you are:

Your home.

Your job.

Your relationships.

Every place you invite God into becomes sacred.

When you walk with Jesus, He will give you what you need for every step: His abundant love, cross-forged forgiveness, sustaining strength, perfect peace, deep joy, and unrelenting hope right where you are.

Transformation lives on the way with Jesus.

It is a journey that will test your strength, challenge your tenacity and grow your faith. 

What do you need to invite Him into where you are today?

Security

A grasping person stirs up trouble, but trust in GOD brings a sense of well- being.”‭‭ PROVERBS‬ ‭28:25‬ ‭MSG

The original Hebrew word used for “trust” in the verse above means “secure.”

Security that is found in the love of God.

You will find more peace by focusing on God than you ever will by focusing on yourself and what you lack.

You do not need more of you (or a better you, a better relationship or more stuff) to be more secure- you need more of God.

You are His precious child. That doesn’t mean life’s journey will be easy, it means that He will supply you with what you need to live it.

You can stop trying to feel secure in who you are and embrace the reality of “whose” you are.  Your identity comes from Jesus, not your family or lack thereof, not from your accomplishments or shortcomings, not from your success or failures but from Him.

My prayer for you today is that you will begin to unfurl the grasping grip of insecurity in your life. May your focus shift to who He is and who you truly are in Him

Christmas Is…

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NIV

Christmas is the heart of God revealed through Jesus.

Christmas means that no matter who you are, Jesus came so that you could have a thriving relationship with God today and for every day after.

Christmas is evidence that God doesn’t want eternity without you.

Christmas is yours to celebrate, receive and rejoice in God’s love.

Christmas is sharing this truth with others so they too can truly celebrate the wonder of Jesus being born in a manger.

So many people think Christmas is about presents when it is really about God’s love for them.

Who will you share this truth with this year?

I guarantee, they need to hear it.

The Wondrous Gift

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”

Isaiah 9:9 KJV

Christmas is pausing to gaze upon the wondrous gift of Jesus Christ.

It is being struck by awe and by the glory of God in the manger.

It is taking time to step back from the business that it has become and embrace the miracle that it is.

The birth of Jesus is not a story to tell, it is the reality to live.

It is God’s message of redemption and hope for all, to all.

Jesus is God’s gift to us, His presence with us.

My friend, that which began in a manger continues in our hearts today. 

Christmas is not business, it is the most personal and intimate expression of the reality of God’s love for you that has ever been given.

What God Does

“Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” Ephesians. 5:2 Message Version

The Scripture above doesn’t say:
Mostly what God does is judge us.
Mostly what God does is condemn us.
Mostly what God does is punish us.
Mostly what God does is give up on us.

No, mostly what God does is love us

He holds nothing back but gives us more and more and more. He loves us whether we feel it or not. He loves us when we are doing good or not. Can’t earn it. Don’t deserve it, nonetheless…what God mostly does is love us.

It reminds me of a phrase from the book, The Shack by William P. Young: “The nature of love is that it is freely given and received freely. God loves the lost and saved the same. He loves, period.”

He loves, period. 

How will you live loved like this today?

Wait For It

“But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything.  Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.”
Isaiah 30:18

When the boys were in elementary school they got out at 2:20 pm and I would try to get to the school at the latest by 2:00 pm so I could get a good spot in the pickup line. If you have ever experienced the stress of picking your child up in the craziness that is the end of an Elementary school day, you know how important this is.

One day I had to pick them up early from school and as we walked from classrooms to the car, Kyle looked at all the cars waiting in line and said: “Oh, they are already here?” Then he said, “I thought you just got here right when school is out.” I said, “Nope, if I waited until then I’d be way in the back of the line, so I get here early so I can be right on time for you.”

As I pulled in to wait in the pickup line the next day, I thought about what Kyle said and how we can think the same thing about God- that He just shows up when we see Him.

Just as I got to the school early so that I could be “on time” for the boys, so God is working in ways we can’t see or understand.

My friend, God is not finished with you.

Just because you can’t see what He is doing in your life right now, doesn’t mean He is not there.

He is.

He is working and preparing a way for you.

Rest in this truth and wait for all God has for you.