Gifts to give

“Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!”
1 Corinthians 12:7 MSG

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As the gift-buying season begins, I want to remind you that God has already given you precious gifts to give this year.

Gifts unique to you.

Gifts that are meant to be given.

By using the gifts God has given you, the talents of your hands, the strengths of your personality, the driving passion of your heart, God uses you to reveal Himself to others.

It is not a prideful thing to use your gifts for the glory of God, it is needful.

The world needs people who are connected to Jesus, using their gifts so that God is revealed and those people can get connected to Him. When people are connected to Jesus they pass from death to life and from darkness to light.  With Him, they begin to develop their gifts so that others can get connected to God and pass from death to life… you get the picture.

In the midst of the gift buying madness, may you freely and generously give to others the rich gifts God has given you.

May you grow them, practice them relentlessly and walk in them confidently until they are an extension of who you are to the glory of God.

What gifts has God given you?

How are you going to use them to bless someone today?

Centered

 

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“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 a master joy stealer.

Put your worries in God’s capable hands and get busy loving the people He has placed in your life.

Who are you centered on today?

Take the Gift and Throw a Party

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written hold no reason for such a sentiment. Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and does not know what the future will hold.

And that is the point.

We don’t rejoice because life is good, we rejoice because God is good.

We don’t rejoice only when good things happen – God works through all things.

We don’t wait to rejoice until we have all the answers, we rejoice in knowing that Jesus does.  And He loves you and will be with you whatever comes.

Set your heart to rejoice in Jesus today: who He is, what He has done and that your eternal future is secured by His amazing sacrifice. Your present circumstances are provided for by the strength of His grace no matter what they look like.

We like to rejoice when we get our way but sometimes the harder way is what we actually need to grow in.

Set your mind to delight in a security of the love of Jesus and the mercy of His grace.

Rejoicing when there is nothing to rejoice about is a divine gift that will transform you.

And if you ask Jesus to open your eyes to see what you have right now to rejoice in, He will.

Take the gift and throw a party.

Be You

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John the Baptist faithfully fulfilled what God had called him to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.  More than once John was asked if he was the Messiah.
He replied with this:
A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:27-28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
John the Baptist knew who he was and he knew who he wasn’t – he was not Jesus.
Reminder: There is only one Savior,  Jesus Christ.
You are not tasked with saving people, that is His job and He is good at it.
Your job is to faithfully point people to Jesus.
Knowing who you are and who you are not is vital in carrying out your own God-given assignment.
When God lays a burden on your heart, it will always be bigger than you and it will be something only He can do through you.
Pride burdens you with a sense of importance that only you can fulfill.
Pride traps you in perpetual misery about all the things you can’t do and about all the gifts you don’t have. Humility sets you free to do what God has called you to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.
You are called to faithfully fulfill the assignment God has given you without trying to be someone you are not or function in gifts God has not given you.
John the Baptist held tight to the attitude that defined his life:
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:30‬ ‭NLT‬‬
It is all about Jesus.
Be honest with others about who you are and point people to Jesus.
Be who God made you to be and endeavor to fulfill what God has called you to do.
What have you been given from heaven to do?
Are you doing it?

Suffering

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Hope comes from suffering.

Why?

Because suffering and struggling challenge every false belief, every lie that trips you up, every excuse to quit until all that is left is God’s truth and His call on your life to not give up.

Don’t give up.

God’s Word is true whether you believe it or not.

Hope is real because God is.

Anchor yourself to His Word and hold on.

Everywhere but Here

“The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard; fools look for it everywhere but right here.” Proverbs 17:24 MSG

God has already given you what you need to fulfill His call for your life and it starts in your own front yard.

Are you looking everywhere but “right here” for what you should do today? A better question is “how should you live today”?

The answers you are seeking are found not by looking at others lives or comparing yourself to them.

They are not discovered by wishing away your life or wanting someone else’s.

This is your life. If you want to change it, change it.

God will not call you to live someone else’s life but He will call you to fully live yours.

You don’t need more stuff, you need clear sight.

Ask Jesus to open your eyes to your own “front yard” and wisdom He has placed there to live the life He has created you to live.

What is holding you back from fully living your life?

What has Jesus put right in front of you?

What miracle are you living?

Hit the Restore Button

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“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭51:12‬ ‭NIV

I am praying for the wind of restoration to sweep away the cobwebs of the fear and regret that are clinging to your soul.

I am praying for the worries and wonderings of “what if’s” be swept away because what is done is done and today is a new day.

Today is a new day to invite God in.

Today is a new day to embrace the hope you have in Jesus.

Today is your new day to walk in the power and purpose of God.

I am praying that you hit the “restore” button with Jesus. Ask Him to restore to you the joy of your salvation and fill you with vision & hope.

There is a sweet joy that captures the soul the moment you receive the washing away of yesterday and release the white knuckling fear you have for tomorrow.

Put all your yesterdays and tomorrows into God’s hands – He is big enough to handle them. 

May you live fully filled up and have a willing spirit to fully engage in what God has given you to do today.