Don’t Fake It

Jesus had a teaching moment with His disciples that is easy to miss and easy to misunderstand.  

On the way to the Temple, Jesus came to a fig tree that was advertising that it had fruit with its full leaves. When He checked it, the tree had none and Jesus is not a fan of false advertising.  

Jesus spoke to the fig tree: “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” (Mark 11:14 NIV)

On the way back, his friends saw that it had withered to its roots and was utterly dead.  

The world says fake it until you make it but God is not okay with us pretending that everything is okay when it is not. 

He would rather that we would be honest.

God meets you where you are, not where you wish you were.

My friend, you do not ever have to “fake it until you make it” with God.

Be honest with where you are and ask God to meet you there.

He will.

Don’t Be Distracted

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” Thessalonians 3:4-6 NIV

Just a glimpse of God’s powerful love for you is enough to start an avalanche of transformation in your life.

When you are surrounded by God’s love you are embraced by hope, courage, perseverance, acceptance, and purpose.

Your life is meant to be immersed in the love of God and fueled by the perseverance of Jesus.

God’s love will never let you go and Christ’s perseverance has defeated death therefore you have nothing to fear.

The enemy of your soul wants you to be distracted from this reality but my prayer for you is that your heart would be directed straight in the center of God’s heart and filled with the wonder of His saving grace.

Refuse to be distracted by the obstacles before you and direct your heart to draw strength from God’s love.

You are His child, He loves you and will walk with you through whatever you face today.

You Are Loved

”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 you 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? 

What You Want

We all have habits that we need to get rid of. However, there is a particular habit that Jesus is more concerned about breaking than the one you are thinking of: it is the desire to get your own way.

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When we struggle, we may think it is because God doesn’t love us. In reality, it might be that He loves you so much that He will use the stressful opportunity at hand to break the habit of the-only-way-I-will-be-happy-is-when-I-get-my-way.

God has more for you than that and He calls it freedom. 

After Survive, Thrive.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.”‭‭ 1 John‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭NIV

Motives are the “why” behind the “what” of your life.

When you are soul drained, your “why” is to survive, to make it through one more day.

Survival is a good “why” but it is not meant to be your permanent state of being.

God has more for you.

He is the God of inside workings, attitude makeovers, perspective shifters.

He is the forgiving God, the wipe the slate clean and start over God.

He is the miracle-making God and the create something out of nothing God.

Your Heavenly Father created you in love, to love, and to be loved.

God so loved you that He sent His Son as a sacrifice to restore you to Himself.

He didn’t do it out of duty, He did it out of love.

He does not live out of duty but out of love and wants the same for you.

When your “why” comes from love it feeds your spirit and invigorates your soul.

May the God of the inside workings move you from surviving to thriving. May the forgiving God wipe clean the slate of the past and help you start over today. May the miracle-making God, create something out of nothing and fill you up with so much of His love that it overflows onto all those around you.

Amen.

Delight or Desire?

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”‭‭

Psalm 37:4

Which side of the comma are you living in?

Take delight in the Lord,

or

And he will give you the desires of your heart?

Delight, desires.

What you focus on determines how you experience life.

When you are focusing on delighting (joy, great enjoyment, and pleasure) in the Lord, the world will seem like a wide-open space for you to experience with someone you love.

When you focus on the desires of your heart, the world can seem like a small closed space in which you can only see what you don’t have and experience and envy what everyone else seems to have.

Living on the delight side of the comma means that your focus is on your relationship with God and being delighted in Him, by Him and with Him and trusting Him with the rest.

There is sweet freedom found in delighting in your relationship with God while letting Him hold all your desires.

He is a good Father and knows (and loves) you more than you know (and love) yourself.

How are you delighting in the Lord?

What is making you miserable?

What side of the comma are you living on?

Called to Step Out

“By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going.” 

Hebrews 11:8 MSG

God is calling you to step out of your comfort zone today.

To get where God has called you, you have to leave the place you are.

Maybe God is calling you to leave the shelter of some strategic comfort zones:

  1. life as you know it
  2. habits that hold you hostage
  3. mindsets that mold your world

The good news is that for every comfort zone you step out of, Jesus has a promise for you to step into and His love to guide you. 

God has a rich inheritance waiting to be claimed by you.

It is the inheritance of an unhindered relationship with Him every day.

It is more than a new plot of land, in Jesus, it is a new way of life.

Abraham left his country behind to go after his God-given destiny.

May your courage grow as you bravely choose to step out of your strategic comfort zones one “step of faith” at a time.

What “way of life” needs to go by the wayside today?

What habit is holding you hostage?

What mindset is holding you back from going after what God has called you to?

He Leads

“GOD, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”

Psalm 23:1-3 MSG

Life is unpredictable.

Every day brings the unexpected and unplanned for.

The good news is that you have a Shepherd, someone to guide you through it. He sees ahead, helps you walk through the rough spots, takes you where you need to go and protects you along the way. Dangers may loom, predators may attack but you are not alone.

You have a shepherd and his name is Jesus.

Are you tired and worn out?

Like a good shepherd, Jesus will lead you to quiet places to restore your tired soul.

When was the last time your spirit was rested refreshed and at peace?

Is your soul starved?

Jesus will lead you to green pastures that will feed your hungry heart. He has made you with intentional and unique ways of refilling yourself when you’re empty. When was the last time you spent time doing what fills your soul?

Are you feeling lost? 

God will guide you to the right paths to take. He has created you on purpose for a purpose and will guide you to it.

When was the last time you asked Him to show you the right path for this season? Sometimes we continue on an old path from an old season until we look around and say, “I’m not in the right place”. Jesus is the present God who will give you updated guidance to get you on the path you are meant to be on today.

He will lead you through the hills, the valleys, the deserts, and all the while, in the middle of it all, will provide a place for you to rest, refill, refocus in Him.

Jesus is the good Shepherd and He will lead you to what you really need today. 

What do you need?

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?

Real Love

Friday

God is interested in you being real and authentic today.

He does not expect you to be perfect, He sets you free to be real.

Jesus loves the real you.

Not the one you think you should be but the person you actually are.

“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you”.  1 Peter 5:6,7 MSG

Let go of the image of who you think you need to be and embrace who you are today.

Jesus does.

What would happen if you let go of  your “image” and asked God to help you love yourself as you are, where you are with what you have?