Be Stubborn

Life in Christ means that you are being called upon to be a pioneer.

He may be calling you to be the first in your family to break the cycle of unhealthy habits or to break the cycle of emotional or physical abuse.

He may be calling you to start a new business to help people that need it or create a home unlike the one you grew up in.

But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:32-39‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God is asking you to be a change-maker and to be stubborn about it.

Be stubborn about God’s goals but flexible about your methods.

Jesus never did a miracle the same way.

Each one was different and unique.

Change worth having is worth fighting for.

Go ahead – be stubborn and courageous today.

How I Now Live

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

Galatians 2:20 NIV

Your life as a Jesus follower is not about what you are capable of doing, it’s about what Jesus is capable of doing through you.

Your body is His to use, your mind is His to fill, your heart is His to heal.

His mission is your mission, His vision is your vision, His power is your power.

This life is no longer yours, it is His life lived through you.

I have learned that Jesus will take all the life you are “able” to give Him and live through it.

My friend, surrender all you can today, then all you can tomorrow.

Jesus will receive it with joyous love.

He will embrace it with strong arms of grace.

He will take you to places of faith you couldn’t have even imagined the first moment that you surrendered your life and chose to live by faith in the Son of God.

You have more life now than you did then.

Today is a good day to surrender all the life you have to Jesus… again.

Unless you have never done this, in that case, today is the perfect day to surrender your whole life Jesus for the first time.

Are you living by faith in the Son of God or faith in yourself?

What do you have to surrender?

How does the Son of God want to live through you today?

Give What You Want

 

“Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” Mark 4:24, 25 MSG

Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came to bring “abundant life” but it is easy for us to slip into an “Americanized” version of what that may mean. 

We can mistake our own personal definition of success with “abundant life”.

We assume that growing in God also means that He will give us everything we want.

But then He would be like an over- indulging parent instead of a loving Father.

No one likes a spoiled brat, not even the brat.

Pastor Tommy Barnett preached a sermon back when I was in Bible School where he spoke of planting the kind of seeds you want to harvest in your life.  He said,“What do need most? Do that for someone else, plant a seed.”

What do you need most today?

How can you provide it for someone else today? 

Getting everything you want doesn’t equal happiness.

Giving everything you want actually does.

 

Give Should-Haves a Decent Burial.

Friday

“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.

Romans 8:12-15 MSG

What “should haves” are holding you back from being fully present in the beautiful life Jesus has for you?

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 you towards His purpose for you.

He will not lift the call but He will refine it.  He will not lift the burden to be His change agent in the world but He will redefine it constantly.

And God will never ask you to “do-it-yourself’, His visions always come with a “you-can-only-accomplish-this-with-God” clause.

We can all easily slip into a habit of tending the graves of  “what if’s” and “should have done’s” but that only hinders us from living in the power of the resurrection life of Jesus.

Life in Christ is meant to be a moment by moment adventure with God.

Give your “should have’s” a decent burial and get on with it.

What regret have you been grave tending?

Unstuck 

“See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Before them was the Promised Land. A land for them to conquer, settle in and prosper in but they were afraid.

They saw the giants and established city walls and were discouraged.

They only saw the insurmountable obstacles in front of them instead of seeing the unlimited power of their God to overcome those obstacles.

It is easy to see why: the promised land holds fierce battles, starting over and learning new skills, like how to grow your own food. No more mana in the promised land.

In the life of a Christian, the promised land is living fully in Christ. Taking hold of His promises and living in His power. It means following, obeying and trusting Him in all circumstances.

It also means that there will be fierce battles with your flesh. Some would rather go back to slavery and assured of being fed than starting over again and learning new skills.

It is time for you to go forward, start over and learn new skills.

It is time to leave the mountain you have been stuck on and move on to the life in Christ that has been provided to you by the cross.

How do you get unstuck?

Stop listening to your fears and start obeying your God.

Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.

Faith is Verb

 

Faith is not a feeling.

Faith is a believing, a believing that leads to action.

A faith that is silent in word and deed is no faith at all.

Do something. Do the thing that faith is prompting and fear is resisting. 

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? 

‭‭James‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Make your faith ‘more than a feeling, make it a verb. 
– Cindy G 

How to Get Unstuck

It is easier than you think to get stuck.

To find yourself in a place that you didn’t expect to be

but unable to continue on to the place you are supposed to be.

 

You are not where you were.

You are not where you should be.

You are stuck somewhere in the middle.

 

The Lord our God said to us at Horeb,

“You have stayed long enough at this mountain.”

Deuteronomy 1:6 NIV

 

The children of Israel found themselves in the same situation.  A great shift, a great crisis had arisen and the only life they knew changed.  It was good change but all change is hard. Yes, it was the best thing for their lives but they were about to go into the unknown future with an unknown God. For most of them, they had just met Yahweh. They knew Him from the stories of their ancestors who knew Him.  He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The day God defeated the Egyptians in the Red Sea was the day that He began to be their God.  That was the day that there was no going back.

You have come to that place. You came to the crossroads of spiritual crisis and Jesus has become your Savior, not your parents or your friends Savior but your Savior.

The Israelites had been journeying for 40 years and eleven months on a journey that should have taken 11 days. They were stuck on the mountain.  God lead them into the wilderness but He never intended them to live in the wilderness. Before them was the Promised Land. A land for them to conquer, settle in and prosper in. But they were afraid. They saw the giants and established city walls and were discouraged. They only saw the insurmountable obstacles in front of them instead of seeing the unlimited power of their God to overcome those obstacles.

It is easy to see why: the promised land holds fierce battles, starting over and learning new skills (like how to grow your own food. No more mana in the promised land). 

In the life of a Christian, the promised land is living fully in Christ. Taking hold of His promises and living in His power. It means following, obeying and trusting Him in all circumstances. It also means that there will be fierce battles with your flesh (which would rather go back to slavery and assured  of being fed)  starting over again and learning new skills.

It is time for you to go forward.

It is time to leave the mountain you have been stuck on and move on to the life in Christ that has been provided to you by the cross. It cannot be earned but it must be possessed by you through obedience.

How do you get unstuck? Stop listening to your fears and start obeying your God. You have been in this place to long. Get off your mountain. God has more for you, go forward and get it.

 

Survival Mode

  
Are you making choices today based on hope or fear?  

Are your decisions steeped in the fear of repeating the past or inspired by the hope of future God has for you?  

Survival mode is triggered by a legitimate crisis. It is valuable coping mechanism but only meant to be a temporary one, you are not meant to live continually in it. 

It is easy to slip back into “survival mode” when  you get busy, tired or sick.

Jesus enables you to live an empowered life here on earth. He walks with you through survival mode and beyond it into abundant life mode. He teaches you to hope again. To trust again. To live fully and abundantly in the expance of his love and the extravagance of his grace. 

Life in Christ does not cushion you from crisis or is a promise of protection from other people’s choices, actions or the reality of living in a broken world. Life in Jesus means you have been set free to walk intimitely with your loving Heavenly Father for all the days of your life and on into eternity. 

Getting out of a mindset of survival mode means more of a perspective shift than a life shift. You don’t need to change your life, you need to be reminded who you are:

You are a child of God redeemed completely by Jesus and he has thrown open the resources of heaven for you to plunder. 

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So, I ask you again

Are you making choices today based on hope or fear?  

Are your decsions steeped in the fear of repeating the past or inspired by the hope of future God has for you?  

So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭31:24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

May your survival mode be shattered by the extravagance of God’s love and the choices you make today fueled by hope, strength and courage of that truth. 

Finisher

  
Death and taxes- isn’t that how the saying goes? There aren’t really too many sure things in life. 

And yet.

There is one sure thing you can count on if you are in a relationship with God: He finishes what He starts.

He started something in you.

A good thing.
A precious thing.
A powerful thing.

A change.
A transformation.
A glimpse of His purpose.

He started it- He will finish it. He will develop it, perfect it and bring it to full completion.

Because beside death and taxes, it is a sure thing that God will complete what He started in you. 

“And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”(Philippians 1:6 AMP)

You don’t have to worry or strive, work or manipulate.

Rest. Worship. Trust. Focus on God.
Jesus is greater.

More Than That

  

Life is more than what you eat & drink (or don’t eat & drink). More than what you wear. More than what other people think of you. 

If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. 

There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. 

Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. (Matthew 6:25, 26 MSG)

It is easy to get distracted from what fills your spirit by focusing on filling your stomach or filling your closet.  

I am not talking about dieting or shopping. I am talking about knowing that your value doesn’t come from either one of those. 

Life is about more than food and clothes.

Life is about love, about risk, about adventure. Life is about serving, giving, helping, loving. 

Life is about being filled with God’s amazing grace every day and then pouring out on all those around us.

Life is about worshipping God when we wake, when we walk, when we clean, when we work, when we eat, when we get dressed. 

Life is about knowing that you are saved by grace because of the sacrifice of Jesus. Life is about knowing that you are reconciled to your Father in heaven and loved by him.  

Life is about knowing that when God looks at you, He loves you for who you are and whose you are – His, not because of what you wear or what you eat or don’t eat or even because what you do or don’t do. 

You are a child of God who is cherished, chosen and provided for.

“free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God.And you count far more to him than birds.” (Matthew 6: 26 MSG)

Are you free and unfrettered today?