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.

Happy New Year!

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I stopped making New Years Resolutions a few years ago. It has been a relief to not put the focus on myself and instead focus on one new thing God has given me to do.

Where Jesus guides, He provides. When He gives you something to do, He will provide a way for you to do it.

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”        2 Peter 1:2-3 NIV

That doesn’t mean it will be easy.  If it was easy, you wouldn’t need God’s help and power.

You will need Him. You will have to choose to keep going in spite of all the obstacles, all the setbacks, all the failures, and the frustrations.

You are going to have to fight for it and start over again and again with His help.

Sometimes the most important things in life are not the biggest things – they are the small things that will make a big difference and they so easily slip through the cracks of a busy life.

So, my challenge for you this year: don’t make a New Year’s Resolution list.

Instead, be resolutely committed to being simply and wholeheartedly faithful to do one thing that God is asking you to do.

What is one thing Jesus is asking you to do this year?

Keep it simple.

Keep it consistent.

Find a way to stay faithful.

Envy

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Envy is the lie at the heart of comparison.

It whispers with an incessant voice:

“you are not enough”,
“you don’t have enough”,
“you could be enough if only….”

Envy robs you of enjoying what you do have and who God has created you to be.

When you believe the lie of envy, you immediately trade abundant life for an abundant lie.

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God does not envy. He has everything, He is everything. He is not lacking in any area and He has made all His resources available to you in Christ.

In Christ, you are enough.

You are embraced, loved, cherished, equipped, empowered and complete.

You have been given access to all that is in God in Jesus.

God’s plan for your life is not to be consumed by envy.

Confess it, take it to the cross, leave it there.

Begin to take hold of the fullness of who you are in Christ and leave the emptiness of envy at the cross today.

Don’t waste another second on it.

How To Break the Power of the Past

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The best way to break the power of the past is to forgive.

Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a choice. A choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them. Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them. 

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice.

And every day after, continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  

Colossians 3:13 NIV

Forgiveness is not about trust, it is about freedom.

What is keeping you from forgiving them?

What are you afraid of?

What does Jesus say about it?

A Small Touch

 

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Love never gives up”.
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4 MSG‬‬

So much can be communicated through a small touch.

A reassuring pat of the hand.

A hug.

A gentle tug on the elbow of someone who you want closer.

Holding a hand.

A small touch can make a bad thing okay, an okay thing good and make a good thing great.

Small touches are difference makers in a relationship, in a life.

They can be the first thing we unconsciously give and the first thing that we unconsciously withhold.

When we struggle, we when are angry, when we are hurt, we withhold the small touches.

It’s easy to forget how important they are to us and to those we love.

A small touch may make a difference.

What small touch do you need to give?

Who needs it?

What is holding you back from giving it and whatever that is – is it more important than the relationship?

What Life Takes

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A great life requires quiet strength.

A strength that gets up when it is tired.

Does the right thing when it doesn’t feel like it.

Holds on when it wants to let go.

Pushes through when it would be easier to quit.

It isn’t pretty.

It is strong.

It has scars.

Quiet strength doesn’t stop.

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.”

Colossians 3:12- MSG

It is the kind of strength that Jesus demonstrated every day as He walked with mankind and made his way to the cross.

The life that God has called you to live requires a quiet strength and a steely determination.

You can’t do it without Jesus and He doesn’t ask you to.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,”  Ephesians 3:16 NIV

The quiet strength of God defies logic and grows in what seems to be an impossible place.

Don’t give up.

Stay faithful.

Draw strength from Jesus today and keep doing what God is calling you to do.