Let Your Light Shine

“If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!”  

Matthew 5:16 MSG

Your opportunity to shine the light of Jesus’ love into people’s lives often happens when you least expect it to.

It happens when your plans change and you have an opportunity to respond grace-full-y.

It happens when there has been a miscommunication you have an opportunity to lead with an apology.

It happens when someone lashes out and hurts you and instead of lashing out back, you bring them a bandaid of mercy.

Moments like these are when Jesus shines through you.

So shine bright, my friend, this dark world needs you.

How You See

Perspective is powerful.

Jesus said how you see the world around you, impacts you:

“Your eyes are windows into your body.  If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”‭‭

Matthew‬ ‭6:22-23‬ ‭MSG‬‬

How you look at the world around you impacts how you experience the world within you.

Do you see the world and the people in it with wonder and delight or in fear and distrust?

Have you “pulled the blinds” and given up?

If so, you are in a dark place.

Jesus came for you.

He came to unleash heaven’s light and love in you.

He came to heal the hurts and tend the wounds that fester distrust and fear.

He came to restore wonder.

He came to restore you.

What Are You Worried About Today?

What are you worried about today?

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

Worry is not meant to be the center of your life.

Worry will keep you distracted and you will miss the small moments of joy that are sent by God to let you know He loves you.

Worry is not meant to be the center of your life, Jesus is. His love for you is a much better rule of life than worry. Love is a better way to make decisions than fear.

Hand over what you are worrying about to Jesus right now.

Put it in God’s capable hands.

Instead of worrying, pray.

Then allow a sense of God’s wholeness to fill your soul.  

Then get busy loving the people He has placed in your life.

What is worry stealing from you today?

Lost

Wednesday

Feeling lost is a terrible feeling.

Years ago on the way out of Disneyland Kyle got lost. I wasn’t holding his hand at the time and when I looked around I didn’t see him. He got distracted by a new toy and got lost in the surging crowd. I told Bobby, we stopped and immediately began the search. We went back to where we came from and began calling his name. Within moments, Bobby had him but Kyle was shaken up.

Big tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “I couldn’t see you, I couldn’t find you”. I gave him a big hug and I heard Bobby say, “You did the right thing- you stopped right where you were. We will always find you, always come back and get you.”

Kyle stuck close to me for a while after that and didn’t let go of my hand. He wanted the security of my hand and needed me to guide him through the crowd. He knew I could see more than he could, that I was stronger than he was, could protect him and knew where we were going. I was more than fine with him trusting me to guide him – I wanted to. I wanted my child close and I didn’t let go of his hand either.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”    Luke 19:10

Jesus said that he came to seek and save the lost. He came equipped with the Father’s heart of desperation to find them. To find you & me.

He came for the ones that got distracted, swallowed up by the crowd and blinded by those around them. For the ones who panic and don’t know who or where they are.

Jesus came to:

Seek and save.

Find and hold.

Reclaim and restore.  

Many things can cause that terrible “I’m lost” feeling. It’s a scary feeling.

Stop wherever you are and let Jesus find you. He loves you and has crossed the boundary of heaven and earth to embrace you with His love.  Let Him guide you through the crushing crowd of fears and failures. He can see more than you can, is stronger than you are and knows how to direct you out of it.

Hold on and let Him hold onto you today.

Prayer

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1-2 ‭MSG‬‬

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

It doesn’t have to be lengthy to have consequence.

You don’t have to get the words right for God to hear you.

You just need to do it.

Pray.

Every way you know-how, for everyone you know.

It isn’t a test to pass or a class to take, it is prayer.

There is no wrong way to pray, just talk to God.

The power of prayer is that it connects you with a powerful God who loves you so much that He took care of all that hinders you from connecting to Him. Every fear, doubt, stumble, mistake, misstep or mindset that separates you from God, Jesus took on the cross.

Jesus experienced every judgment, every unjustice, neglect or wrong done to you by others.

This is how you can be unhindered in prayer for others and honest in prayer for yourself. He died to give you permission to talk freely with the Holy One.

Let no excuse stop you today from talking to and listening to Him today.

Pause the Panic

Monday

“This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.”
Matthew‬ ‭6:7 MSG

What is causing you to panic right now?

Panic is defined as sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety.

All kinds of things can cause panic to rise within you and when it does, I am going to ask you to pause.

To wait before you react.

To take deep breath in and out.

To pray and ask God for His perspective.

He is your Father and He knows you. He knows why it is happening and why you are responding to it that way.  He also knows how to lead you down the right path, not just the first one that presents itself. Jesus knows if there is a higher way, a better way or a healthier way to deal with it.

He knows how to calm your heartbeat and clear your mind.

When you go to God with your panic, He will give you the wisdom and guidance you need to deal with it.

Pause the panic and pray.  Your Father in heaven loves you and knows what a one-word prayer like “help” means.

Believe Anyway

I want to encourage you today that no matter how dark the situation is, believe that God can do something in it anyway.

I want to challenge you to dare to trust Him in the desert – there is a promised land and you are on your way to it.

My prayer for you is that like Abraham you will decide to live today not based on what you can’t do but on what God can do through you.

God freely gives you His power to sustain you to walk, to love, to care and to be fully alive even when you may feel mostly dead inside.

“Abraham was first named ‘father’ and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:17-18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Long before Abraham saw the fruit of the promise, he believed God anyway. Though everything in his life seemed to indicate otherwise, he lived his life, every day, not looking at the impossibility of the promise but in the possibility of God.

I am sure that there were times that Abraham barely believed. I know that there were days that he was only holding on to a bare thread of hope…but he held on.

Hold on, my friend, you may only have a thread of hope, but in Christ, that thread is stronger than what you face and will hold against that which you fear.

The Power of Worship

Have you accessed God’s power today?

Hebrews 12:28 reminds us that, “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping him with holy fear and awe.” 

When we are worshipping God and filling our hearts with gratitude, we are opening our hearts to be filled with the unshakable kingdom of God.
 
A kingdom not of this world but one that heals it, changes it, transforms it.
 
Worship fills us with the wonder of heaven and an awe for the one who left heaven to rescue a lost world.
 
When we worship Jesus, He fills our hearts with His love and our lives with His power.
 
My friend, may we be so full of heaven that it overflows into moments of awe in the mundane moments of our day and make them…heavenly.
 
 

Move Mountains

 
 
Is there an obstacle in your life that just isn’t budging?
 
Jesus told His disciples in Mark 11:22-23,
 
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
 
A “mountain” was a term used in that day to mean any insurmountable problem and Jesus says to speak to it.
 
Use your words.
 
God has given you words to speak out, to pray and to proclaim as you trust Him to do what you cannot do.
 
What mountain are you facing today?
 
 

Your Promised Land

Frida

Your promised land is right before you.

It is where you are, transformed by God’s transforming love:

It is your heart and mind transformed by God’s love.

It is your relationships transformed by God’s love.

It is your workplace transformed by God’s love.

It is your parenting transformed by God’s love.

It is you – transformed by God’s love and God using you to transform your surroundings.

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15 NIV

Close your eyes, open the eyes of your heart and ask God to give you His vision for your life.

See with eyes of faith.

Taste the bounty you will cultivate.

Feel the joy of habitation.

Be filled to the brim with the love of God and then let it overflow to everyone around you.