I Dare You

Monday

“He has given us a new life because we are united with Christ Jesus. He saved us so that now we can do good things in our lives. Those are good things that he has already prepared for us to do“.

Ephesians 2:10 (EASY Version)

Instead of assuming your life is already set in motion, what if you ask God to show you how to live His agenda instead?

Instead of looking for the reasons why things did or didn’t happen yesterday, you asked God what is possible with Him today?

God’s agenda for your life is dripping in love and mercy. You are redeemed to live a new life in Christ. This new life comes with new things to do and new people to love. Things that He has already prepared for you to do and people He has already put in your path.

Living God’s agenda in your life doesn’t mean that nothing gets done, it means that your to-do list doesn’t determine your impact, your trust in God does.  If you dare to take God at His Word and trust that He has already prepared it for you, new life in Christ becomes a reality instead of just a good idea.

Surrender your to-do list and ask God to lead you to the “good things he has already prepared” for you do today.

I dare you.

 

The Peace of His Presence

Monday

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”      

2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV

Is worry ruling your life?

There are a lot of things to worry about right now.

Some of them are things you worry about all the time.

Some of them are things that are brand new.

Either way, you can collect worry like it’s your job or you can build a tower of God’s peace around your soul.

You have peace with God through Jesus Christ and because of that, you can receive peace from God in and for every situation.

Out of all the decisions you have to make today, the most important one will be if you choose to hold on to God’s peace or your worry.

May His presence calm your heart and fill you with His peace today.

Us vs. Them

Thursday

There is no such thing as “us” and “them”.

There is just us.

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as “those evil people” or “those poor people who need our help”.  Nor must we search for signs of “love-worthiness”.  Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.

– Phillip Yancey

We are all in need of the grace and mercy of God…everyday.

Give some to yourself today and give some to someone else too…I guarantee they need it.

Don’t Do It

Friday

“Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”

Romans 12:2 MSG

Don’t worry about defining yourself within our culture.

Don’t limit yourself by trying to find a place to fit in it.

Look to Jesus and allow His unquenchable love to change how you see yourself, transform how you think about life, and impact how you treat those around you.

That’s it.

Time to Party

Wednesday

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 seems to 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.

As Jesus’ followers, our rejoicing is not contingent on circumstances, it bursts through in spite of them.

Are you missing out on joy today because you are waiting for your circumstances to warrant it?

Don’t wait one second more,  joy is a fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of your circumstances (Galatians 5:22).

Receive the gift, invite some friends over and throw a joy party!

Awake and Aware

Tuesday

But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:11 MSG‬‬

If you are aware of anything today – be aware of God.

If you are afraid of anything – be afraid of getting so busy making a living that you miss making a life.

If you have to make a do to list – put “recognizing God ‘s presence” in the top spot.

Take care of whatever you need to take care of today but make sure to make room for God to interrupt, intervene, and weave Himself into each thing you do with His love, His mercy, His perspective, His grace, His strength and His joy.

If you are wondering whether God is present in your life, He is and He longs to connect with you. You are one of His favorites.

What does being aware of God mean to you?

Have you been so distracted that you are oblivious to God?

May the awareness of God supersede all else as you are embraced by a Savior who loves you unconditionally and completely.

A Simple No

Friday

“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ be ‘No.”’

Matthew 5:37 NKJV

No.

A simple answer but rarely an easy one.

At some point, you will need to say NO to good things so you can say YES to the things God is calling you to.

For those who are challenged by saying “NO”, here are ten different ways to say it:

1. I would prefer another option.

2. I would love to say yes to everything, but that would be stupid.

3. Someone would be awesome at this, I am not that person.

4. Some things have come up that need my attention.

5. We should rethink this.

6. My instincts tell me I’m just not suitable for this.

7. It would cause the slow withering death of my soul.

8. Um, no.

9. My plate is already full but I will be happy to suggest somebody else’s plate to put it on.

10. No, I’m doing all I can right now but thank you for giving me the opportunity.

What do you need to say “NO” to in order to make room for the right “Yes”?

What Are You Thinking?

Tuesday

“For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:5-6‬ ‭NET‬‬

There is a war for your thoughts and for your imagination.  God gave you the ability to imagine and shape your thoughts.  He gave you the ability to imagine your day, your tomorrow, your future.

Many people believe that you can’t control your thoughts or the direction of them but that is not what the Bible says in the verse above.

The imagination nourished by the Spirit of God is life and peace.

The imagination shaped by the flesh is fear and death.

The thing is, you get to choose.

You have free will and God will never take it from you.
What you think, how you think is up to you.

This is not about creating your future with positive thoughts. This is about consciously choosing to fix your mind on Jesus Christ and allowing Him to shape your outlook.

“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NET‬‬

You have permission, my friend, to take a mental vacation from fear and set your imagination free to dream some God-sized dreams today.

Where is your head?

What is it filled with?

What does it mean for you to set your imagination free and let God dream for your life?

Live By Faith

Wednesday copy

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

What does it mean to live by faith? It means making decisions on how to live based on where God has called you to go, not where you have been before.

It’s faith because you haven’t seen it yet but Jesus has.

It’s faith because you are living in something different than you ever have before: you are living by faith in the Son of God instead of living by faith in yourself.

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.

Then as you follow Him, trust Him, grow in Him, you discover that there is more of your “life” that you need to surrender to Him so He can fully live through it and so on.

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?

 

 

 

 

Invest in Rest

Friday1st

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28 NIV

The Greek word for “rest” in Matthew 11:28 means:

1) to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength

2) to give rest, refresh, to give one’s self rest, take rest

3) to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation

It is an invitation from Jesus to stop your work and invest in rest.

Make time to stop producing, stop creating and simply breathe.

Take a minute or an hour to do something that fills your soul.

Close your eyes so you can really see what is going on inside of you.

Open your eyes to love the people who are around you.

It is not a one-time invitation, it is a spiritual investment for a lifestyle of trust.

Jesus is saying “come to me” whenever you need to rest and as often as you need to rest.

Are you soul tired today?

Come to Jesus, His arms are open for you.