Heart Purified

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭23:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Your faith is more precious to God than the finest of gold.

Your faith in Jesus will last longer than your job, your goals and your body.  It is the faith born from the eternal life inside of you that sustains you through the trials of the temporary outside life.

When God tests your faith it is to purify it. To clarify it. To clean it from dross and impurities. He will use the smallest irritation or the greatest trial to do it. He does not send the trial but He will use it.

The same fire that destroys wood purifies gold.

God can use the very thing that you feel like is destroying you to purify you.

He will use the disappointment you are experiencing to make the dross of your heart rise to the surface so He can skim it off.

You have a promise here that God knows where you are, what you are going through and that He knows how to use it to do a powerful work in you.

You will come out of it shining.

Hold onto God during this season because He is most certainly holding onto you. 

Take the Journey

A pilgrimage is defined as a journey to a sacred place.

It is a choice to take a journey to a place and invite God to transform you as you go.

When you are pursuing a thriving relationship with God, you are not just on a pilgrimage, you are living one every day.

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭84:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Every place you invite God into becomes a sacred place.

Your home.

Your job.

Your relationships.

The pilgrimage for a Christian is not to go somewhere that God has been but to allow God to be with you where you are right now. 

In your weakness.

In your frail humanity.

Into the reality of your life.

Jesus comes in and gives you what you do not deserve but cannot live without. He gives you His abundant love, cross-forged forgiveness, sustaining strength, perfect peace, deep joy, and unrelenting hope right where you are.

Where do you need to invite Jesus into today?

Dwell

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The word dwell invokes the picture of where you live.

Where you wake up in the morning, brush your teeth and get ready for your day.

It is the place where all your “stuff” is, no matter how much stuff you have.

It is the place at the end of the day that you surrender to sleep and recharge.

You are made to dwell in the shelter of God’s presence.

To wake to His love, live in His love, rest in His love.

Jesus made it possible so you could live this today and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty’s love everyday after.

A Careless Life

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

Life with God is about being filled with His love and then pouring it out on all those around you.

It is worshipping Him when we wake, when we walk, when we clean, when we work, when we eat, when we get dressed.

It is knowing you are saved by grace and reconciled to Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

It is knowing He loves you because you are His kid and He enjoys spending time with you.

My friend, you are a child of God who is cherished, chosen and provided for.

Live in the freedom of His love.

Live care-less in the care of God.

Live more in this truth and less in the lie that you are valued because of what you look like, eat, wear or do.

This life, this love, this security comes from Jesus and is unshakable.

The rest is frosting.

Quiet Strength

A great life requires quiet strength.

A strength that gets up when it is tired.

Does the right thing when it doesn’t feel like it.

Holds on when it wants to let go.

Pushes through when it would be easier to quit.

It isn’t pretty.

It is strong.

It has scars.

Quiet strength doesn’t stop.

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.”

Colossians 3:12- MSG

It is the kind of strength that Jesus demonstrated every day as He walked with mankind and made His way to the cross.

The life that God has called you to live requires a quiet strength and a steely determination.

You can’t do it without Jesus and He doesn’t ask you to.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,”  Ephesians 3:16 NIV

The quiet strength of God defies logic and grows in what seems to be an impossible place.

Don’t give up.

Stay faithful.

Right Now

God’s love for you is for right now. Not later. Now.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, God’s love cuts right through the business of life and breathes into you the very heart of it- His heart, His LIFE.

“For right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:

Trust steadily in God,
hope unswervingly,
love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 MSG

Don’t wait for tomorrow to trust.
Trust today. 

Don’t wait until tomorrow to hope.
Hope today.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to love.
Love today. 

Steadily.

Unswervingly.

Extravagantly.

Right now.

This Is For You

“Are you tired? Worn out?

Burned out on religion?

Come to me.

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

– Jesus *

This is the invitation Jesus is giving you right this minute.

Accept it – this is for you.

Lay down your burden and take up His grace.

*Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

Permission

Yesterday, I was in the check out line at a store and listening to the song they were playing. I liked it. I started to move a little bit to it. Then I realized that it was a Christmas song that sounded like a pop song and felt like I was being tricked! I am not ready for the holidays and here this song was sneaking its way into my heart and body. Sneaky song.

As we head into the holiday season, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time. Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss.  

Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. He mourned. He loved. He was thankful. He knew that there was time for all of them and that they often overlap.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 says,

“There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”‭‭ Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV

‬‬This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions the upcoming season will bring. Ask Jesus to be with you and show you how. As you give the emotion space to exist, you give it permission to move through you instead of being stuck in you.

You have to feel it, to heal it.

And the first step is to give yourself permission to feel.

New

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

What does God do in you through Christ? 

He creates “new” in you:

A new mentality.

A new habit.

A new hope.

A new attitude.

A new love.

A new life.

God is presently re-creating you.

You can confidently let go of “what-ifs” and embrace the possibilities with Jesus of “what is”.

That doesn’t mean you’re perfect but that you are present and open to living new, now.

May you live fully in Christ today and discover the wonder of the new things He wants to do.

Are you caught in the doldrums of “what ifs”?

What “new” does God want to do in 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?