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? 

Image Management

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The world likes a tidy image to categorize us in but God has no such desire.

In fact, He is more interested in authenticity vs. image and reality vs. the picture in your head of who you think you are supposed to be.

Jesus does not expect you to create a perfect picture of a good life. Instead, He invites you to live your real life with Him involved in it every day.

“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.

God does.

Start enjoying the reality of your life instead of being discontent that it doesn’t fit the image of what you think it should look like.

In fact, the more you let go of that image, the more you are able to thrive in the life God has given you. Stop spending all your energy trying to shine it up and make your life look perfect, instead simply enjoy who you are and what you have – no image management needed.

Are you miserable because you are trying to live up to an unauthentic image?

What would happen if you let go of it and asked God to help you love who you are, where you are and what you have?

Grave Tending

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“The life you THINK you want could be stopping the life God MEANT for you to live.”
– Matthew Barnett

“So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There is nothing in it, nothing at all. The best thing to is to give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It is adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, ‘what’s next Papa?”’.

Romans 8:12-15 MSG

Having dreams and goals are vitally important to help us make choices, take the right opportunities and say no to the wrong ones. But even “the dream” can become an idol when we refuse to surrender it to God. We can easily slip into a habit of worshipping the “what if” and “what may be” or “what I want it to be.”

When you are tending regrets and spending all your energy in the cemetery of unmet needs, goals or dreams, it is difficult to participate in a new life in Christ. The verse above is worded in the immediacy of now and is a moment by moment adventure.

When God sends you a vision of your future, it is to get you moving in the right direction. When He lays a burden on your heart it is to pull towards His purpose for you. He does not lift the call, but He will refine and redefine it constantly.

“What’s next Papa?”

I will leave this “dream” in His hands. I will live in anticipation of fulfilling it daily in any way He chooses and in the opportunities before me. I will give the past a decent burial, even the good things that never happened. Those are trickier, I think.

I don’t want anything less. I will get up and walk out of this emotional cemetery and with a skip to my step ask God, “What is next?”.

What grave have you been tending? What is the “dream” that is holding you back from being fully present in the beautiful life Jesus has for you?

 

Unquestionably

wisdom-quotes-freedom-is-found-when-we-embody-self-love-and-self-acceptanceDon’t let anyone or anything con you into believing you are a slave again.
Don’t believe the enemy’s lies that you have no choice or power to say NO to old habits, old thought patterns, old temptations, or old addictions or that you have no hope of changing, growing, and transforming.
When the Son sets you free, you are free. 
You are free from the power of sin and it is not your master anymore.
So then why does it take so long to learn how to live in this freedom? Why the struggle? 
It is because while your spirit has been released from the contract of sin and is legally free, your flesh has been well trained by its former slave master.
The flesh has the old habits, temptations, and thought patterns grooved into it through experience and years of practice. 
It takes time, experience and perseverance to create the new grooves of freedom. 
Just as a bird is made to fly, a child of God is made to live in freedom.
However, it is up to you to claim your freedom and learn to walk in it.
It is up to you to learn how to fly with the wings of freedom God has already given you.
“So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free”.  John 8:36 AMP
What old lies are sapping your strength today?
 
What old habits need to be left behind?
 
What new freedom do you long to live in?
Today is a good day to live in freedom…unquestionably.
May your mind be clear, your heart encouraged and your determination to live in the freedom that has been bought for you by the blood of Jesus be fierce in you today. 

Your Way

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“Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.”
Psalm 37:5  NKJV
Commit your way. 
To commit is an action, not a choice.
When I commit to a diet, I’m making a decision.
When I mail a letter, I’m taking action.
You can’t mail a letter if you hold onto to the edge of it. It will never get to where it needs to go and you are not trusting the postman or woman to do their job.
To commit your way to the Lord is the same thing- you need to give your way to Him. You are putting the direction, the journey, the destination into His care. The word for commit here means to “roll away”. 
To the Lord.
Give your future to God.
Let God have it.
Pry your fingers off the fears you have for your future and give it to Jesus.
Lay down the cherished dreams of a perfect life and roll those over to Jesus as well. Your expectation of a perfect life without pain or heartache is not reality and doesn’t help you deal with it. Those expectations actually trip you up more than your fears do.
Let go and let God.
Trust also in Him. 
Focus on your relationship with Jesus and let Jesus focus on your future.
And He shall bring it to pass.
The phrase in English “He shall bring it to pass” is actually just one word in Hebrew, asa.  It means He shall assemble, accomplish, create, produce it. He shall attend to it, bring it about and ordain it. He will bring it to pass.
“And then finally, when you’ve gotten to the place where you can commit your life and the affairs of your life into God’s hands, then you have arrived at the place of that glorious resting in the Lord. ‘God, I’m just resting in You. Whatever comes, Lord. However. It’s in Your hands.”’
Chuck Smith
It is only when I commit my journey (and re-commit it hourly) to the Lord and trust Him to bring it to pass in my life that I am truly free to rest. I am free to discover delight. I am free to focus on doing good where I am instead of carrying the weight of the uncertainty of the unseen future on my shoulders and give it all to God.
I roll it over to Jesus and say, “Here, this is yours. You can take care of it.  I’m Yours and so is my future. Thank you that I don’t have to carry it, worry about it, fret and fight to make it happen. You already have a plan and a purpose for me. Help me to discover it step by step with You.”
How do you deal with an uncertain future?

Open Hands

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“I pray to GOD —my life a prayer— and wait for what he’ll say and do.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭130:5-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Today is a good day to begin to pray with open hands.

To pray with open hands instead of closed hands holding on so desperately to what you are afraid to let go of.

Pray and let God be God.

Present your requests, petitions, hopes, and desires to Him and then let Him do what only He can do.

Give them to Jesus and leave the results to Him.

Release your expectations of how he should answer while at the same time knowing that He will.

Instead of praying, “God, this is who I want you to be”, begin to pray, “God reveal who you are to me.”

It will transform your life.

He wants to.

He will.

Begin today to pray with open hands.

When was the last time you asked God to reveal himself to you or in your situation?”

How hard is it for you to leave the results to God?

What does it mean for you to let God be God in your life?

Best Time to Pray

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“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”

Jonah 2:1 NIV

When is the best time to pray?

– when you have run from God.

– when you have been disobedient and rebellious.

– when you have done your own thing, your way and find yourself in the center of a  devastating storm.

– when you realize that God is BIGGER than your fear and STRONGER than the storm.

– when you are in the very center of something that is far bigger than you and you have no power to get out of it.

– when you are ready to let go of your preconceived ideas of what God is calling you to and willing to serve wherever you are, with whatever God has given you, right now. 

When is the best time to pray?

NOW… whatever your “now” looks like.

What’s keeping you from prayer? 

What have you been running from? 

What is Jesus asking you to do right now? 

What Are You Holding Onto? 


One morning in Church 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 means 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 it 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 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. Jesus wants to be the center of your life.

You can hold onto your fears or you can hold onto faith but you can’s do both.

What are you holding onto today?

Real Life


The world likes a tidy image to categorize us in but God has no such desire. In fact, He is much more interested in authenticity vs “image” and reality vs the “picture in our head” of what and who we think we are supposed to be.

Jesus does not expect you to create a perfect picture of a good life.

Instead He invites you to live your real life with Him involved in it everyday.

“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 you think you need to be and embrace who you are. God does. Let go of the picture of where you are supposed to be and embrace where you are. God is there with you.

Start enjoying the reality of your life instead of being discontent that it doesn’t fit the “image” of what you think it should look like.

In fact, the more you let go of that “image”, the more you are able to thrive in the life God has given you. Since you are not spending all your time and energy trying to “shine it up” and make life “look right”, simply enjoy who you are and what you have.

Are you miserable because you are trying to live up an unauthentic image?

What would happen if you let go of it and asked God to help you love who you are, where you are and what you have got?

Restoration


I am praying for a refreshing wind of restoration to sweep away the cobwebs of past fear and past regrets that have been clinging to your soul.

That worries and wonderings of “what it’s” or “should have’s” that make no difference would be washed away because what is done is done and today is a new day. 

A new day to invite God in.

A new day to embrace the hope you have in Christ. 

A new day to walk in the power and purpose of God as if it is the first day of the rest of your life…because it is. 

There is a sweet joy that captures the soul the moment you receive the washing away of yesterday and release the white knuckling hold you have on tomorrow into God’s hands.

It’s not a bad way to start the week. 

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

May your spirit be open to new discoveries of the grace of God and well up into a new willingness to hope again. To pray again. To know Him more and better today than you did yesterday.