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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Being Content 

  
Being content with where you are and what you have, has nothing to do with where you are and what you have.

It is knowing that all things are not good but that God will use all things for your good.

It is knowing that your relationship with God does not depend on how you feel but in what Jesus did on the cross.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭12-13‬ NIV)

Being content is a choice, not a feeling. 

It is knowing that no matter what life hands you, Christ is in you and He will give you the strength to handle whatever life brings.