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.

 

 

Go After It

Thursday copy

The important thing about goals is having the right goals.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭14‬ NIV

Don’t waste your life going after goals to make yourself more comfortable.

Go after Jesus– His love, His agenda and His goals for your life (which has more to do with who you are than what you look like and giving more than getting more).

Life following Jesus is not comfortable or easy – it is unique, unexpected and adventurous.

At the end of your life, you may or may not have human praise and awards but if you choose the goal of letting God transform you with His love, you will have rich relationships, miraculous moments and the most important thing you can have with you as you step into eternity – Jesus.

He is the prize.

Go after Jesus and make your relationship with Him the main goal of your life.

The rest of your goals will fall in line.

May you clearly hear His voice, boldly follow His guidance and passionately pursue His heart in all things today. 

The Last Supper

Tues 4-7

And he took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper, he took the cup saying, “This cup is the new covenant in the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Luke 22:19-20 NIV

A symbolic dinner to tell the ancient story of freedom from slavery and redemption from death itself.

A lamb for each family that crowded the streets of Jerusalem that week.  A lamb sacrificed by a Temple priest.  A lamb that was consumed later as they moved through each symbolic element: the meat, the unleavened bread, the bitter herbs, the egg, the cups of wine, the applesauce.

The disciples were celebrating a holiday, Jesus was fulfilling prophecy.

Then Jesus put himself on the plate, put Himself in the story. He picked up the bread and broke it and said, “This is my body given for you”. He took the cup and said, “This is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you.” Only God can make a new covenant. And He did.

It was their last supper together.

After they celebrated the angel of death passing over those whose homes were marked with the blood of the lamb, they saw the blood of the Chosen One spilled under the lash of the whip and poured out on the wood of a Roman cross as He died before their eyes.

It was the last Passover Jesus had with His disciples before Jesus became the Passover Lamb for His disciples and the world.

For you.

For me.

Forever.

And a new way to remember it, we call it communion.

 

Quiet it All

“If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”  Mark 4:23 NIV

When life gets loud, stressful and fear-filled, listening gets difficult.

With all there is to listen to for up to date information and then all the things we do to distract us from it all, it can be difficult to hear what God is saying to us.

Jesus is always communicating with you. He is always speaking truth to you.

Today is a day to listen.

To quiet everything.

To step back and breathe.

To quiet the stress, the worries, the distractions, the screens, social media, or anything else that is draining your ability to hear Jesus.

Jesus is speaking to you and He has something that He wants you to hear clearly.

I am asking Jesus to give you ears to hear and to prepare a quiet place for you to receive His word for you today.

What is creating the most internal noise in your life right now?

What do you need to do to quiet down the external noise to be able to hear God’s voice better?

What is Jesus saying to you today?

Clean Your Connection

One day when my oldest son was about 11 years old, he walked into our bedroom with his shoulders slumped and said, “The charger is broken- it won’t charge the laptop and it just died”.

My husband brought the laptop into our bedroom and first thing he checked all the connections on the cord. A few minutes later, I noticed that he had put the laptop down and didn’t seem too worried about it.

“Did you fix it?” I asked.

“Oh, yea I did”, he said. “The connection just needed to be cleaned. It was just dirty. After I cleaned it, it connected just fine and now it is charging.”

It was that simple, a clogged connection.

Your connection point to God is your heart. It is where the power of God fills you and the grace of God heals you.  Your heart gets clogged and dirty from the wear and tear of life, with bits of small lies believed or big judgments perceived getting in the crevices. These days it may be getting clogged by fear as you read Covid-19 headlines and news reports.

Your heart needs to be cleaned often.

Fear and anxiety cleaned out so that you can connect fully to faith, to hope and to courage.

Pray this prayer as many times as you need to:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any [n]hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭NASB

It is amazing what a difference it makes when your heart is clear and your connection with God is restored to full power.

Apply Daily.

What is clogging your connection to God today?

What is filling your heart today?

Off-Road

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
Psalm 33:20 NIV

The Hebrew word used for “wait” in Psalm 33:20 implies being tied to or binding yourself to something.

For me, the picture of a seatbelt comes to mind.

When I was a teenager, I went to the movies with a friend. I met him at his house, climbed into his truck and buckled myself in. We drove down the street and then he stopped. He told me that we were going to take a shortcut and we were going to go off-roading. He checked my seatbelt, put his truck in four-wheel drive and turned toward the ravine. I was excited, slightly terrified and said, “Let’s go for it!”  I have never appreciated a seatbelt more. It held me in my seat on the sharp inclines and steep declines, over the rocky bumps and through the unlevel dry river beds. We arrived at the theater with plenty of time, but to be honest, I remember the journey there more than the movie we saw.

Following Jesus is more like off-roading than driving on the freeway.

He takes you to new places, asks you to grow out of your comfort zones and challenges you to take the road not traveled.

Today Jesus may be calling you to go off-road, or like Peter: out of the boat.

When Peter saw Jesus, he asked Him if he could join Jesus out there on the water. Jesus said yes and Peter went over the side of the boat:

“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:29-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Streams of the Desert”:

“Once he had stepped out of the boat, the waves were none of his business”.

 – Streams of the Desert

Peter’s job wasn’t to walk on water but it was to keep his eyes on Jesus.

As we all try to navigate the unknown future that is daily being created by the Covid-19 Virus, being stuck at home may be our new “off-road”. Having nowhere to go may be harder because you can’t run from the problems there.  I can guarantee that God wants to take this time to grow your faith, your prayer life, and your relationships.

Maybe today, God is asking you to reconcile a relationship that has been broken or work on one in your home. Now is the time to be brave. Get close to God, put your faith-belt on and tell the truth. It’s not going to be easy but you are not alone in it.

What is God challenging you to trust Him in today?

Who do you need the faith to reach out to?

 

What Counts Right Now

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Galatians 5:6 NIV

Q. What counts more than money, things, activities, entertainment or even a clean house?

A. Faith expressing itself through love.

It is like having a keychain packed full of keys and on it is this really little one. You know that one random key that you are not sure what it is for but you are afraid to throw it out in case you need it.

What if on the packed keychain of your life, you find out that there is a key that unlocks a vault where all the richest treasures are stored?

That key is your faith in Jesus expressed through love.

Jesus told His disciples in Luke 17:6 that they didn’t need to have big faith.  He said that if they put into action the little faith they did have, mountains would move.

My friend, it’s not the size of your faith but the size of your God that moves mountains. 

All you need is a tiny bit of faith to take the first step or a crumb of hope to get you through it.

All you need to do is see a little bit of the dream Jesus has for you,  then add love and put it into action. Take a little bit of trusting in His power, add a pinch of faith and do that something that comes next – the next right thing?

When you are at that place where it seems a positive change is more like turning the Titanic than turning a key, call out to Jesus.

If you need faith for your situation, He will let you use His.

If you need to remember the dream, ask God, He dreamt it first for you.

If you need monumental hope, He is the God of all hope.

Take the little you have right now and put it in action. 

What will you do today with the little faith you have?

How will you express it through love?