Hold Tight

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“Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:23 ‭MSG

What promise are you holding onto today?

For me, it is this one:

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”             ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This scripture reminds me God will finish the work of restoration He began when I gave Him my life.   He started it, His work will continue it and He will complete it.  My life, His work. 

It is a reminder that it is not my work that completes me but His.

My life’s work is to focus on my relationship with Him. What a great job description: grow my relationship with God and let Him grow me.

What promise keeps you going?

What word are you holding on to right now?

Jesus is able and faithful to keep His promises to you.

Hold tight to Him and trust Him to hold tight to you.

Faith Full

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I remember a time a few years ago when I was discouraged and heartbroken.

My hopes had been swept away by a flood of circumstances fueled by other people’s choices and actions. I chose integrity but no one else saw it that way. My character was questioned. My reputation was shredded and I could do nothing about it.

I could only walk forward into a future that I had not anticipated or imagined.

I clung to Jesus. I grabbed hold of the promise that He would never leave me or forsake me. I tried to trust that He could redeem the circumstances as I watched everything we had built crumble around us. I tried and failed. I couldn’t find trust or hope within my soul, only heartbreak and fear.

Psalm 119:116 became the words I held onto:

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.”

One morning I got up early and took a walk. We were living in Las Vegas and my neighborhood edged the desert by the Red Rock. With worship music loaded on my iPod, I set out to pray and breathe in the presence of God.

As I turned the corner out of my neighborhood and onto the desert road behind it the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” began. The sun was just rising over Red Rock Canyon and it was so beautiful that I almost dropped to my knees.  I heard God’s whisper in my heart, “Hold on. Your hopes are not lost. I am faithful to complete what I have started in you. I will sustain you through this and strengthen you in it. My faithfulness knows no end.”

It was a turning point for me. I carried that promise through a time that got harder long before it got better.

Hold on, my friend, your hopes are not lost. 

Jesus is faithful to complete what He started in you.

He will sustain you and strengthen you in it.

God’s faithfulness knows no end.

Not Normal

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There is no such thing as normal.

There is routine, there is what you are used to, there is “how things used to be”, but there is no normal.

Life changes, jobs change, children grow, people pass away, new seasons of life come whether you are prepared for them or not.

Stop worrying about being “normal” or working to get things “back to normal”.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lordʼs holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV

Being rooted and established in Christ means that He is your anchor, your security, your place of rest in the midst of chaos. His love is not shaken. Your hope can rest on Him and not in your present circumstances.

Let go of trying to be normal and focus on being established in love with roots that grow deep in the soil of who Jesus is.

Give Him room in your heart and let Him live through you.

New seasons bring new normals but Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Draw your security from God today and dig in to get the most from this time in your life.

Cast It All

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One morning during worship, a familiar fear wondered into my mind. With my hands already lifted in worship, I felt the Lord say to me, “You can hold onto your fear, or you can give it to me but you can’t do both.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Cast –  to toss. You can’t throw something without letting it go.

All – every irrational fear, every overwhelming worry. as they come.

Your – they are not God’s anxieties but He will take them.

Anxiety – the word used here means to be drawn in different directions. Literally means to be torn apart.

On Him – where to put what is tearing you apart. Jesus is strong enough to carry them, no matter how heavy they are. He will not remove the circumstances that are causing you anxiety but he will walk you through them and teach you how to deal with them.

Because He Cares – this is a present active verb as in “caring right now in this present moment”.

For You – yes, YOU.

God is caring for you right now.

The quote “Don’t tell me that worry doesn’t work, because what I worry about doesn’t happen” used to be one of my favorites before I met Jesus.

God doesn’t want fear to be the center of your life – He wants to be the center of your life.

Make Jesus the center and cast your fears on Him today.

Humble

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I know that the word humble can be a hard one to grasp.

First of all, it has nothing to do with being humiliated or feeling humiliated.

Second, it is not about doing but about being.

It is about identity and living out of it.

It is leadership but it doesn’t look like what you are used to.

It is knowing who you are in Christ as well as knowing who Christ is in you:

He is your Savior, redeemer, creator, all-powerful God.

He is your guide, strength, hope, and peace.

He is the great I AM and has unlimited power and reach.

Jesus is the greatest in heaven and made himself the least on earth. Not because He had forgotten who He was but because He knew with full confidence who He was.

In the first three chapters of Ephesians after encouraging the church in Ephesus to live out of their new identity in Christ, He tells them:

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Being humble means you can lead others without being bossy.

Being humble means that you can be happy and content when you are not in control.

Being gentle means that you have unclinched your hands from steering the direction of your life and have let Jesus take the lead.

Being patient means bearing with those who don’t deserve your patience and loving people who are not easy to love.

This is about the little things that can undo our composure: the unexpected phone calls, the interruptions that add or postpone your to-do list, the change of plans because some people are unorganized.

These are the moments when being humble matters the most.

There are moments when being gentle makes all the difference.

These are the moments when others will recognize that the patience you are extending to them is not natural but God-given.

These are the moments Jesus shines bright through you.

May you so confidently know who you are in Christ that you are able to gracefully engage with all that challenges it today.

Time to Rest

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Rest doesn’t have a season.

It isn’t optional.

You need it, every day.

You need rest for your body and for your soul, spirit, and mind.

“Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You need to rest, refresh, recharge in all seasons but especially in the busiest ones.

It isn’t optional.

It’s how God made you and it is the way to optimize the gifts He has given you to fulfill the purpose He has placed before you.

What refreshes your spirit?

What rejuvenates your mind?

What feeds your soul?

How will you rest today?

Real Power

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“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Real strength doesn’t come from pretending you have it but in admitting that you don’t.

Real power comes from knowing you can’t do this on your own and that you need help.

Needing Jesus every day is not admitting defeat.

It is the key to victory.