A Simple No

Friday

“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ be ‘No.”’

Matthew 5:37 NKJV

No.

A simple answer but rarely an easy one.

At some point, you will need to say NO to good things so you can say YES to the things God is calling you to.

For those who are challenged by saying “NO”, here are ten different ways to say it:

1. I would prefer another option.

2. I would love to say yes to everything, but that would be stupid.

3. Someone would be awesome at this, I am not that person.

4. Some things have come up that need my attention.

5. We should rethink this.

6. My instincts tell me I’m just not suitable for this.

7. It would cause the slow withering death of my soul.

8. Um, no.

9. My plate is already full but I will be happy to suggest somebody else’s plate to put it on.

10. No, I’m doing all I can right now but thank you for giving me the opportunity.

What do you need to say “NO” to in order to make room for the right “Yes”?

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.

 

Go After It

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The important thing about goals is having the right goals.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭14‬ NIV

Don’t waste your life going after goals to make yourself more comfortable.

Go after Jesus– His love, His agenda and His goals for your life (which has more to do with who you are than what you look like and giving more than getting more).

Life following Jesus is not comfortable or easy – it is unique, unexpected and adventurous.

At the end of your life, you may or may not have human praise and awards but if you choose the goal of letting God transform you with His love, you will have rich relationships, miraculous moments and the most important thing you can have with you as you step into eternity – Jesus.

He is the prize.

Go after Jesus and make your relationship with Him the main goal of your life.

The rest of your goals will fall in line.

May you clearly hear His voice, boldly follow His guidance and passionately pursue His heart in all things today. 

Strength For Today

 

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“Give us today our daily bread.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Lord, give me what I need for today.

Not what I needed yesterday.

Not what I will need for tomorrow.

What I need today.

Today’s strength.

Today’s sustenance.

Today’s vision.

Today’s peace that passes understanding.

It might look different than I expect it to but it will do the job nonetheless.

You are amazing like that.

Thank you, Lord, for today’s provision, for today’s daily bread.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

No Verbal Distancing Needed

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“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”

James 3:5 NIV

Words are powerful.

The words you say to yourself and the words you say to others.

We are all practicing “social distancing” in order to slow the spread of Covid-19 but right now we need to use our words to encourage and uplift people more than ever before.

Now is not the time for “verbal distancing”. In fact, your words have more power than ever before.

Your words can spark hope and inspire people or they can light a fire of fear and paranoia. Choose life. Choose hope. Choose care. Choose encouragement.

God has given you the great privilege of being the spark that lights the fire in the hearts of the people you are connecting to. 

Whether it is a fire to warm and nourish others or one that burns and destroys them is up to you.

Use your words to light a fire of faith in someone’s heart.

Encourage, uplift, pray for and love those around you today.

What you say matters and impacts people’s lives.

Choose wisely.

Stay Salty

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“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 the flavor of food.

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.

God’s Way

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“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 way is better (and leads to thriving).

During this time of crisis, reach out and help someone who is afraid. 

Be Prepared

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There are seasons of life that you are where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be doing. You are “in” season. You are inspired, motivated and moving forward.

Then there are seasons when you feel downright out of it. You are not where you want to be and not doing what you think you should be doing. You are in an “out” season. You are discouraged, unmotivated and stuck.

God will use you in both.

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭2‬ NIV

In fact, it is often the seasons that knock you to your knees that impact other people the most:

  • When the diagnosis doesn’t shake your faith. 
  • When you face a hard time but it doesn’t harden your heart.
  • When you are brave in the face of uncertainty and transparent as you lean on God for strength. 

Be prepared to walk with God in the good times and bad, easy seasons and hard ones because God is prepared to walk with you through it all.

If you are available, He will use you to minister to those around you.

God’s love is always in season, may you be filled with it today.

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. 

Called

 

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It is a call each and every one of us has received. It is the voice of the Savior clothed in the white garments of resurrection and bearing the fresh scars of the crucifixion. 

You are called to live a life of freedom. 

Are you free?

Are you living in the precious freedom bought by the sacrifice and resurrection of  Jesus Christ?

Free from sin.
Free from it’s power and control.
Free from it’s prison of shame and guilt.
Free from its endless demands, requirements, small print and a false sense of control. 

It is the noose of slavery the enemy gently lays upon your neck. Then slowly, surely, he begins to tighten it until you feel trapped, choked and bound. 

It is a lie. You are not called to live in bondage.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  

Galatians 5:13 NLT

Wherever shame lurks and condemnation whispers, that is the place where freedom belongs. Freedom that has already been paid for and comes with an Almighty Savior to help you apply it. 

Are you called to be free?

Yes. Yes, you are.