Walk and Rest

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Life often demands that you keep on walking even when you are tired. When you are burdened with grief, you still have to go to work.   When you are battle weary someone still has to do the dishes.

Jesus says there is a way to walk and rest at the same time:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭MSG‬‬

He says walk with me and I will show you how to do it.  He says to “Take my yoke” which just means “partner with me”.

Jesus says “I will bear the load and lead the way. Walk with me.”

Your “yoke” today may be dripping with unmet expectations, foundation-shaking experiences or unbearably heavy with too many obligations.

Jesus says to you today, “Here, take my yoke and I will take yours. My yoke is dripping with grace, burdened with divinely appointed purpose and wrapped in a deep peace that is not moved by tumultuous circumstances.”

You may be tired and weary today but still, you have to keep walking. Don’t walk alone. And swap yokes with Jesus, His is much better.

May you walk far and rest well in Jesus today.

A Different Way to Live

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“For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.”

Ephesians 2:10 NET

Instead of asking God to give you the strength to live your life, what if you asked Him to show you a different way of living it? 

Instead of looking for the reasons why things happened yesterday,  what if you looked for what is possible with God tomorrow?

Instead of assuming your life is already set in motion,  What if you ask God to show you what needs to change in it according to His purposes?

What if you dare to believe that Jesus has more for you?

Because He does.  He already has a path prepared in His heart for you with divine appointments and opportunities to bless on it.

What if today you laid down your to-do list and picked up His? Okay, that sounds crazy so maybe you ask God to show you His to-do list in the midst of yours?

God has unseen paths laid out before you to walk in to be a blessing to people you haven’t even met yet.

Life with Jesus is a journey of overcoming and conquering, first steps and new beginnings. It is an adventure of discovery and healing, of bold moves and humble hearts. It is possible if you are teachable.

If you are available Jesus will use you today.

His yoke, your life, a new way. 

Gentle

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“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why do I need the reminder to “let my gentleness be evident”? I don’t know about you but when I stress, I try to control things. I work to make things to the way I think it should be. When I feel that I am in a battle, I push everyone out, put up my walls and am prepared to fight.

When I am stressed, gentle is the last thing that I am to those around me.

The original Greek word used for gentleness in the verse above describes the heart of someone who will let God fight his battles for Him. It describes a person who has let go of trying to control the situation and allowed God to do what He needs to.

This is where having a relationship with Jesus changes things. It’s where trusting Him impacts how you live because He will never ask you to be something that He isn’t already.

Jesus IS near. 

Jesus says that He is so close that it’s like you’re yoked up with Him. Shoulder to shoulder, walking the same way, with Him bearing the load and directing the path.

He IS gentle. 

Jesus showed us what this kind of gentleness looks like. He focused on His relationship with His Father and only did what God directed Him to. He did not bend to peer pressure, comparison or even try to fit in with anyone other than His Father. He didn’t try to control the situations or people. He focused on being faithful to the part He was given to do and allowed God to work out the rest. 

Jesus lived yoked and yielded long before He offered it to His disciples.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He leads gently so that you can live gently.

Gentle is not weak it is focused trust as well as a deep knowing of who you are and whose you are.

My friend, may you begin to learn to live in the power of leading a gentle life by being yoked and yielded to the gentle Savior today.

You Are

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“I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.”
‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬
When you have trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior:
You are called.
You are loved.
You are cared for.
You don’t have to strive to take care of “number one” or stress to win the approval of others.
Jesus will walk with you, guide you and bring you back when you wander off.
Accept God’s invitation to live as a cherished child today.
Live loved right now.
Let Jesus take care of you.
May your relationship with Jesus be like the eye of a storm where the uncertainty of this season will swirl around you as the peace of God which passes all understanding guards your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
How are you living in the invitation of God?
How are you receiving His love?
Are you living like you are cared for or like you have to take care of yourself? 

It’s about Identity

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“Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.”      Hebrews 11:10 MSG

When God called Abraham to leave his country, He was asking him to stop looking at what was behind him and look ahead to what is in front of him.

God is calling you to stop looking back at all the reasons why you can’t be who God has called you to be and keep your eyes on the reason why you can: Jesus.

Any and all reasons why you “can’t” were carried to the cross with Jesus. He took them, embraced them and destroyed them there. Mind you, this isn’t about being in denial about your issues, this is about being clear about your identity in Christ.

When God asked Abraham to leave his past behind, He changed his name,  He gave him a new identity. When God calls you to be His own, He gives you more than a fresh start, He gives you a new identity in Christ.

And He walks with you every day to help you work out your issues and work in your new identity.

It takes a while to see yourself as God sees you and apply it to your life. It is a lifelong journey that takes faith.

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.”     Hebrews 11: 2 MSG

Move Beyond Fear

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“By an act of faith, he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents.”  Hebrews 11: 8 MSG

Fear will hold you captive in your comfort zone.

The only way to break fear’s hold is by an act of faith.

To go after all that God has called you to, you are going to have to move beyond the fear that holds you there.

Fear can be overwhelming when it is a general mass of unknown anxiety so you need to name it.  What are you afraid will happen when you step out in faith? Define it or one part of it. Narrow it down, find the core.

But also be aware of this: facing the fear doesn’t take away the emotion of fear but it allows you to replace the lie that fear is telling you with the truth of God’s Word. When you name the fear you disarm it of its power but it takes a while for your emotions to fall in line with your faith.

Courage is feeling the fear and stepping out in faith anyway. 

You may not know where your journey will end up but you can be sure that the God who calls us to step out in faith does.

Faith is choosing to trust God with the path, every step of the way, the detours, the disasters and yes, the destiny.

God is calling you forward, don’t let fear stop you today.

Name your fear: what is it you are afraid of happening if you step out in faith?

Speak God’s truth: what verse inspires you to have courage?

(Mine is Philippians 4:13)

It Takes the Same Amount of Energy

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“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”     Philippians 3:13-15 NIV

What does it mean to live by faith and not by sight? It means making decisions on how to live based on where God has called you to go, not where you have been before.

It’s faith because you haven’t seen it yet.

It’s faith because you are hoping for something different than you have had before.

It’s faith because you are becoming someone new in Christ that you haven’t been before.

The direction where you are looking makes a difference in the direction you are going…and it takes the same energy.

You can stay stuck in self- pity or look to Jesus for self-confidence.

Look back and make yourself miserable or look forward in faith. Either way, it takes the same energy. It’s a daily habit, it’s the intention, it’s the determination to keep your eyes on Jesus and what He has for you.

My friend, spend your energy today believing God for impossible things you can’t see yet and leave the past with all its mistakes behind.

Are you looking at your future through eyes of experience or eyes of faith?

What are you trusting God with today?

P.S. God will heal the wounds of your past while giving you His vision for your future.