Making the Most of It

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“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:

reach out,

extend grace,

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. 

Grow Your Gift

“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.

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?

Tenderhearted

“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. 

Stay Salty

“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. 

Stay salty.

Covered

Today I want to remind you that you have a place of refuge in Christ. A fortress of strength to love from. A tower of trust to give from.

Live from the truth of who Jesus is and what he has done for you on the cross.

You are restored and redeemed. 

You are accepted and forgiven. 

You are cherished and loved. 

When the strong sun of adversity beats down, rest in Shaddai’s shadow. Tuck yourself into His side and remind yourself whose you are.

“You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: ‘GOD, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!’ That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.

His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-5 MSG‬‬

When fear screams the loudest, run to the refuge of the cross. Jesus died for you so that you could have this: an unhindered relationship with your Father in heaven who has strong arms and strong love. 

Hide in Him. 

Fear nothing. 

He’s got you covered.

When to Pray

“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”

Jonah 2:1 NIV

When is the best time to pray?

– when you have run from God.

– when you have been disobedient and rebellious.

– when you have done your own thing, your way and find yourself in the center of a  devastating storm.

– when you realize that God is BIGGER than your fear and STRONGER than the storm.

– when you are in the very center of something that is far bigger than you and you have no power to get out of it.

– when you are ready to let go of your preconceived ideas of what God is calling you to and willing to serve wherever you are, with whatever God has given you, right now. 

When is the best time to pray?

NOW… whatever your “now” looks like.

What’s keeping you from prayer? 

What have you been running from? 

What is Jesus asking you to do right now? 

God’s Way

“The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.”

Proverbs 29:25 MSG

Mankind’s definition of surviving is:

Do whatever it takes.Grab whatever you can.Serve yourself first.

  • Learn from other’s mistakes.

God’s definition of surviving is:

  • Trust Him.
  • Give whatever you can.
  • Serve others first.
  • Learn from other’s success.

My prayer for you today is that you choose God’s way of surviving instead of yours.

His is better (and leads to thriving).