God’s Not Finished

“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 Kyle’s perception, “I thought you just got here right when school was out.”

We forget that most things are not always as they seem but only as we see them. Just as I made a point to be at the school early so that I could be “on time” for the boys, so God is working in ways we can’t see and don’t know about in our lives.

The verse above was fulfilled through Jesus and through Jesus God’s will can be fulfilled in your life. 

God is not finished with you.

He is going ahead of you and preparing the way for you.

His grace and power are ready to be right on time when you need it.

 

Refuge and Fortress

“I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge

and my fortress, my God,

in whom I trust.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus came so that you could live so close to the Father that the shadow of His love would cover you.

He went to the cross so that the presence of Almighty could be a refuge from the storm raging around you and a fortress of peace to run to when you are weary of fighting.

Jesus defeated death and cleared the way so you could be free to live fully in the power of God. He is the door into the refuge of God’s presence and the key to open it is trust.

Are you trusting Jesus today or are you trying to do it all yourself?

How Jesus Loves

”Jesus looked at him and loved him.”

Mark 10:22 NIV

Jesus saw the man who was right in front of Him and loved him 

Jesus loved him for who he was right at that moment regardless of the outcome of their relationship.

This is how Jesus loves.

When Jesus looks at you, He loves you.

He loves you for who are right at this moment.

He doesn’t love you for who you may become or only if you will get better.

Jesus loves you.

This love pursues, heals and is what inspires people to love others the way Jesus loves them.

Do you know today that Jesus loves you like this?

Permission

Yesterday, I was in the check out line at a store and listening to the song they were playing. I liked it. I started to move a little bit to it. Then I realized that it was a Christmas song that sounded like a pop song and felt like I was being tricked! I am not ready for the holidays and here this song was sneaking its way into my heart and body. Sneaky song.

As we head into the holiday season, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time. Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss.  

Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. He mourned. He loved. He was thankful. He knew that there was time for all of them and that they often overlap.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 says,

“There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”‭‭ Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV

‬‬This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions the upcoming season will bring. Ask Jesus to be with you and show you how. As you give the emotion space to exist, you give it permission to move through you instead of being stuck in you.

You have to feel it, to heal it.

And the first step is to give yourself permission to feel.

I Dare You

Monday

“He has given us a new life because we are united with Christ Jesus. He saved us so that now we can do good things in our lives. Those are good things that he has already prepared for us to do“.

Ephesians 2:10 (EASY Version)

Instead of assuming your life is already set in motion, what if you ask God to show you how to live His agenda instead?

Instead of looking for the reasons why things did or didn’t happen yesterday, you asked God what is possible with Him today?

God’s agenda for your life is dripping in love and mercy. You are redeemed to live a new life in Christ. This new life comes with new things to do and new people to love. Things that He has already prepared for you to do and people He has already put in your path.

Living God’s agenda in your life doesn’t mean that nothing gets done, it means that your to-do list doesn’t determine your impact, your trust in God does.  If you dare to take God at His Word and trust that He has already prepared it for you, new life in Christ becomes a reality instead of just a good idea.

Surrender your to-do list and ask God to lead you to the “good things he has already prepared” for you do today.

I dare you.

 

The Peace of His Presence

Monday

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”      

2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV

Is worry ruling your life?

There are a lot of things to worry about right now.

Some of them are things you worry about all the time.

Some of them are things that are brand new.

Either way, you can collect worry like it’s your job or you can build a tower of God’s peace around your soul.

You have peace with God through Jesus Christ and because of that, you can receive peace from God in and for every situation.

Out of all the decisions you have to make today, the most important one will be if you choose to hold on to God’s peace or your worry.

May His presence calm your heart and fill you with His peace today.

Time to Party

Wednesday

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!   Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written seems to hold no reason for such a sentiment.

Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and does not know what the future will hold.

And that is the point.

As Jesus’ followers, our rejoicing is not contingent on circumstances, it bursts through in spite of them.

Are you missing out on joy today because you are waiting for your circumstances to warrant it?

Don’t wait one second more,  joy is a fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of your circumstances (Galatians 5:22).

Receive the gift, invite some friends over and throw a joy party!

Awake and Aware

Tuesday

But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:11 MSG‬‬

If you are aware of anything today – be aware of God.

If you are afraid of anything – be afraid of getting so busy making a living that you miss making a life.

If you have to make a do to list – put “recognizing God ‘s presence” in the top spot.

Take care of whatever you need to take care of today but make sure to make room for God to interrupt, intervene, and weave Himself into each thing you do with His love, His mercy, His perspective, His grace, His strength and His joy.

If you are wondering whether God is present in your life, He is and He longs to connect with you. You are one of His favorites.

What does being aware of God mean to you?

Have you been so distracted that you are oblivious to God?

May the awareness of God supersede all else as you are embraced by a Savior who loves you unconditionally and completely.

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.