Expansive Trust

There came a man who walked the earth, spoke truth to all who would listen, healed broken bodies and restored broken souls to God. It was His love that breathed life into the first lungs of man and His word that drove the darkness and chaos back before that.

He came to the earth He created for one purpose: to perfect love. The word perfect here doesn’t mean flawless as much as it means complete. Completed completeness. This love that bled when the lash tore open His back and wood of the cross dug into it, persevered through the unendurable physical and spiritual pain of the cross until He could utter the truth, “it is finished”. 

This love has been made completely complete. The debt of sin has been paid and the great chasm between God and man has been crossed.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18 NIV

When fear rises up to dismantle my faith or weave it’s tentacles around my feet to trip me up, I must remember this fact: I have nothing to fear. 

Christ took my punishment completely so that I could let His love complete me. 

Are you letting His love complete you?

Are you letting His love in?

Today, Jesus is holding out His love to you and asking you to take it, make it yours and start living in the expansive truth of it today.

Take it.

This is for you.

Prayer Is

“May God look you full in the face and make you prosper.”

Numbers 6:26 MSG

The word for “prosper” here in the original Hebrew is “shalom” and often translated as peace.  Shalom is the peace that comes after the conflict and the quietness that comes after the chaos.

At its core, “Shalom” means the type of wholeness that comes after being broken.

Prayer is a retreat from the world and the battles you fight in it.

The word “retreat” is a military term. It means to get off the battlefield, to quit fighting, back out and regroup.

Prayer is creating time with God to regroup, reassess, restrategize and recover.

Fighting a battle when you’re exhausted, wounded and discouraged never works.

Are you exhausted, wounded, or discouraged? 

Then it is time to pray.

A time to rest in God’s love for you.

A time to take a step back, find a quiet place with God so He can repair what is broken, remind you of His purpose and arm you with His vision.

Jesus has given you full access to God’s presence.

Enter in and rest.

He is waiting for you.

My prayer is that you would get off the battlefield for a while and allow God to love you to wholeness. 

Stay there as long as you need to.

Trust God

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Whatever today brings, I want to remind you to trust God in it.

Trust that He has your present provided for. Jesus will give you what you need when you need it to deal with what is happening right now.

Trust that He will heal your past. There is no sin stronger than the blood of Jesus and there is no hurt His love can’t heal.

Trust that He has your future in the palm of His hand. Jesus is preparing a place for you and preparing you for the place. Stressing about it helps no one. Rest in Him and wait.

Take a deep breath and fix your eyes on Jesus. 

Trust Jesus.

An Uncomfortable Life

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Because Jesus loves you, He will challenge you.

He will keep you accountable to live according to your full potential in Him.

He will challenge your status quo.

He will challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and live out there.

And when your uncomfortable zone becomes comfortable- He will call you out …again.

“You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.
1 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭17‬ MSG

God loves you just as you are but that same love won’t let you stay that way.

Sloppy living isn’t about appearance or how your life looks to others, it is about how your life looks to God.

Sloppy living is when you have stopped risking and reaching but have shrunk back and self-protected.

Sloppy living is settling when you are called to soar.

Sloppy living is when you have delegated the Great Commission to others instead of doing it yourself.

You are not called to live a comfortable life, you have been called to an abundant life in Christ.

You have been called to go.

You have been called to grow.

If you think that God is calling you out of your comfort zone- HE IS.

It’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and live the life God has created you to live.

What comfort zone is Jesus calling you out of today?

Challenge & Change

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God will use today’s challenges to give you the skills you need for tomorrow’s assignment.

Look to Jesus to guide you through it and help you navigate all the way to the other side of it. Don’t give up halfway through. Storms do not last forever but the lessons you could learn from them will.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

It doesn’t matter where it’s coming from, God will use It to get you going in the right direction.

God will use whatever opposition is coming at you as an opportunity to grow your faith and character.

Let Him.

What is God using your current challenge to develop in you?

Mighty God

  

Who God is:
Mighty Savior.

Where God is:
With you. 

What God does:
He saves you.
He delights in you.
He calms your fears.
He rejoices over you with singing. 

“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.””

‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭
3:17 NLT‬‬

In Jesus this verse has been fulfilled. Because of Jesus, I can experience the reality of walking with God every single day.  A reality where I am aware of God’s saving power.  A reality where I can experience His delight in me. 

Just the concept of God’s delight for me blows my mind.  I don’t delight in me. I wake up with a mental tally of all the things I’m NOT doing right and all the ways I am not loveable. Yet God, who is perfect and holy, delights in me. He lives with me as I do really boring stuff like the laundry. He is singing songs of joy over me as I sort through the monthly bills wondering how we are going to make it. He smiles with me and enjoys all my quirks. 

Because of Jesus.

This  reality CAN be my experience but only if I allow it. If I lift my eyes above my present circumstances and see all the way to heaven. 

This reality has already been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. It is mine as I receive it, as I walk in it, as I think more about what God thinks of me rather than what I think of myself. 

Can you hear His joyful song over you? 

Do you know He delights in you today? 

Have you lifted up your eyes to see your mighty Savior today because He is seeing you. 

Prayer

  
Prayer doesn’t have to be eloquent to be powerful.

Prayer doesn’t have to be lengthy have consequence.

You just need to pray.

The power of prayer comes from WHO you are praying to.

The consequence of prayer comes from Who you are praying to. 

The first thing I want you to do is pray. 

Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. 

Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. 

This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1-3‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Thinking about prayer and praying are not the same thing. 

Talking about prayer and praying are not the same thing. 

Let no excuse stop you today from getting in a safe quiet place and praying, even for five minutes. 

It is the game changer in your life.

Prayer is powerful.

Even There

  

“even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What is your even there?

That place that you don’t think God can reach.
That place you think God can’t change.

That place that you don’t believe God can help.

No matter how difficult or dark your situation, Jesus can guide you out and give you strength to do it. 

Jesus will guide you out- follow him one step at a time, one day at a time.

Jesus will strengthen you, one step at a time, one day at a time. 

There is no place that God can’t reach, heal and restore, even there.

What Amazes God

  

There are two times recorded in the Bible where Jesus stood amazed:

1. At the unbelief of people from his hometown. (John 6:1-5)
 
2. At the faith of the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant by sending His word. (Luke 7:7,9)

‭”We never read that Jesus marveled at art or architecture or even the wonders of creation. He never marveled at human ingenuity or invention. He didn’t marvel at the piety of the Jewish people or the military dominance of the Roman Empire. But Jesus did marvel at faith – when it was present in an unexpected place, and when it was absent where it should have been.” 
— David  Guzick 

Have you ever been amazed what God is doing in someone else’s life but unable to believe that He could do anything in yours? 

You can get sidetracked by looking at natural facts instead of looking into the face of Jesus. 

You can build your faith or tear it down according to what you focus on. 

Your faith does not add to God’s ability.

Your lack of it does not limit it either.

Jesus is Almighty God, Advocate, Savior, King of kings and Lord of lords. He can do more than you can ask or imagine. 

The difference between the faith (or lack of faith) of those in Jesus’ home town and that of the centurion was that the first group never even asked Jesus do something. They rationalized away His power with their  knowledge and past experience.  The centurion knew how authority worked, looked at what Jesus had done for others and took a risk.
He asked.

Faith asks.
Faith acts.
Faith risks.
Faith obeys.

You may be waiting until you have more faith to ask. More faith to act. More faith to risk. More faith to obey but Jesus said it’s not the amount of faith you have, it’s what you do with it. 

“So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”. Matthew‬ ‭17:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I am not saying I understand it all or have wrapped my brain around it. 

I am only asking myself (and you) a couple of questions:

“Am I using the faith I have and doing something with it, no matter how small I think it is?”

and

“How am I amazing God today?”

Impossible Thanks

  

After looking around at overwhelming lack of resources, Jesus looked up and gave thanks.

“A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him…

…Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. John‬ ‭6:2,3,11 NLT‬‬

Instead of focusing at the impossible situation before him, He focused the will  on his Father in heaven. 

Instead of looking at the enormity of what He needed, He gave thanks for the little that had been provided to him.  

Here, Jesus is faced with the most difficult of  situations and He gave thanks to God.

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t come naturally to me. When I look at my overwhelming lack of resources to do what God has placed before me: I panic. I try to figure out the logistics. After looking around at overwhelming lack of resources I have in my own power, I break down.

I need Jesus to show me how to look at the impossible situation before me, look up and give thanks for it. 

Being thankful to God is one of those amazingly things that can change everything. It changes your outlook and your attitude. It opens your heart and makes room for the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) to grow.

Jesus walked the earth as a heaven sent teacher showing us what it looked like to live connected to God. He demonstrated how to look up and give thanks instead of looking down and giving up.

Jesus went to the cross as the Savior to make it possible to live connected to God. He made the way to know God and to walk with Him everyday.

Jesus took your sin on the cross so that you can live a transformed, Spirit empowered, God blessed life and face the impossible situation before you with impossible thanks.

May your week be filled with moments of life transforming thanksgiving, game changing miracles, and the heaven sent resources to do what God has called you to do. 

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.”

‭‭John‬ ‭6:11-12‬ ‭NLT

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