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? 

Stay Salty

decb53cc4e290ac26b7baf868ffb3994

“You are the salt of the earth.”
Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭13‬ NIV

When Jesus said that you are the salt of the earth, He is saying that you are valuable and meant to enhance this world with the flavor of His grace. In His day, salt was used as valuable currency, as well as a precious food preservative and additive that enhances the flavor of food.

My friend, wherever God has placed you, whoever He has surrounded you with, whatever job He has given you to do, Jesus has you there for a purpose and it is not as complicated as you think it is.

You are there to add value. That alone is a gift that so many people are craving- simply the recognition that they are valued and they are valuable to God– so valuable that Jesus paid the ultimate price to love them.

You are there to be a precious preservative to the world you live in and in the work you do. Preserve respect, show dignity and honor those around you.

You are there to enhance the essence of who God has created them to be. When you celebrate what God has put in them, you liberate them to see it as well.

May God shake you up and pour you out for someone who desperately needs to know that they are precious and valuable to God. May you bring honor with you and enhance every relationship you engage in today. 

Stay salty.

God’s Way

44d81759ce4bdcff113e1c9034b032b6

“The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.”

Proverbs 29:25 MSG

Mankind’s definition of surviving is:

  • Do whatever it takes. 
  • Grab whatever you can. 
  • Serve yourself first.
  • Learn from other’s mistakes.

God’s definition of surviving is:

  • Trust Him.
  • Give whatever you can.
  • Serve others first.
  • Learn from other’s success.

My prayer for you today is that you choose God’s way of surviving instead of yours.

His way is better (and leads to thriving).

During this time of crisis, reach out and help someone who is afraid. 

What is the Point?

img_1219

“The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love —love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.”

1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭5 MSG

The whole point is to love others and live your life open to God.

To simply love and simply be loved.

To love God and love people.

It is simple but certainly not easy.

Self-interest complicates it. It is difficult to simply love others when your innate human desire to self-protect kicks in.

It is easier to go with the flow of human nature than to intentionally choose God’s way.

It is easier to hedge your bets against hurt than it is to be vulnerable and reach out.

It is easier to build your case of good reasons to disconnect than it is to lay them down and trust Jesus.

Going down that road, you will find yourself isolated and self-righteous instead of connected and invested.

A life open to God means that you recognize when human nature hijacks the work God wants to do in you and through you.

Sin complicates it, brokenness contaminates it, unforgiveness taints it.

The cross simplifies it. 

The only way to deal with your human nature is to take it to the cross of Jesus.

The place He laid down His life and took up your sin.

He took your brokenness there so he could offer you wholeness here.

He took the bitterness of unforgiveness there, so he could offer you the sweetness of grace here.

The cross is where you can lay down your nature and freely take up his. 

Be set free to be who God created you to be by simply loving those who God brings to you- they need it as much as you do. 

What do you need to take to the cross today? 

What does living your life open to God mean to you? 

Who, in your world, desperately needs your love? 

Love Life

god-love-quote-lettering-first-epistle-john-87755505

You have been made to love and be loved.

You seek it and you are made to need it.

The only way to get what you need to be is by love, in love, through love. Not just any love – not your spouse’s love, your friend’s love, your boyfriend’s love or even your mom’s love. When we look to them to give us what we need, we find they are just like us- flawed human beings doing the best they can and in need of love themselves. They will fail you and are not meant to fill you or fulfill you.

It is God’s love that can fill you, fulfill you, change you. His unending, unchanging, un-quitting, transforming love. The love you need is God’s transforming love.

“God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.”

1 John 4:16-17 NLT

You are created to be connected to the amazing soul healing love of Jesus.

If you are hungry, the only way to get the nutrients into your body is to open your mouth and eat. If you are dying of thirst, the only way for you to quench it is to drink. The only way to be transformed by the love of Jesus is to open your heart and ask Him to fill it.

Open your arms and embrace it. Take a big breath, exhale rejection and inhale His amazing unconditional love. Feel the warm arms of acceptance wrap around your soul and let Him lift your burdens. Accept the liberation of divine forgiveness.

Reach out right now and lean into your new love life in Christ, your new identity as God’s beloved, grab hold of a new force of love previously unknowable and now possible because of what Jesus has done for you.

My friend, God has created you to live a full amazing love life and you don’t need Valentine’s Day to celebrate it.

Because of Jesus, you are loved every day and through Him can love others every day.

Happy Valentines Life in Jesus.

May you feel as loved as you are. 

 

Called

 

romans-618-bible-verse-quote-freedom-in-christ-set-free-tshirt-unique-tees

It is a call each and every one of us has received. It is the voice of the Savior clothed in the white garments of resurrection and bearing the fresh scars of the crucifixion. 

You are called to live a life of freedom. 

Are you free?

Are you living in the precious freedom bought by the sacrifice and resurrection of  Jesus Christ?

Free from sin.
Free from it’s power and control.
Free from it’s prison of shame and guilt.
Free from its endless demands, requirements, small print and a false sense of control. 

It is the noose of slavery the enemy gently lays upon your neck. Then slowly, surely, he begins to tighten it until you feel trapped, choked and bound. 

It is a lie. You are not called to live in bondage.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  

Galatians 5:13 NLT

Wherever shame lurks and condemnation whispers, that is the place where freedom belongs. Freedom that has already been paid for and comes with an Almighty Savior to help you apply it. 

Are you called to be free?

Yes. Yes, you are.

God’s Purpose for Your Life

ab399286d08b56a0f1dee296bd63049a

A simple pencil in the hand of a master writer is a tool to tell a powerful story.   In the same way your life, in the hands of God, is a story of grace waiting to be written.

You have been carefully chosen, gently held, directed and purposed in the Hand of God to be used by Him, right where you are.

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The most powerful thing you can do today is to surrender completely, restfully and trust Him to guide you to be an instrument of hope, love, encouragement, and strength to those around you. God knows where you are.

“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” – Mother Teresa

What story of grace is Jesus telling through your life today?

Yes to the Adventure

yes to god
“I am the Lordʼs servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:38‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Have you ever thought that if you knew what was about to happen in your life that you would handle it better? How many times have you wished that the Lord would show up and just tell you what was about to happen?
Mary had that opportunity.
The Lord showed up and told her what her story would be by sending an angel to let her in on what part she would play in history:
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1: 30-33 NIV
Mary would be rejected before she was accepted, desperate before she was provided for, slandered long before she was ever believed. Her life was no longer about her story but it was about God’s story thru her life.
She said, “May your word to me be fulfilled”.
Mary said yes to God knowing that it would be hard. She decided to trust God when things were not happening the way she thought they would.
She decided to follow God when others would not understand or believe her.
She knew that it would not be easy and she said yes.
I believe it is the great mercy of God that He leads us one step at a time.
I believe it will be harder than you thought it would be but more worth it than you can imagine.
Don’t be afraid. When you follow Jesus, your life is no longer about living “your” story but it is about letting God tell His story through your life.
You will never really know what God can do through you until you say yes to the adventure of following Him wherever He leads. 
Be brave.
Say yes.

Not Normal

aef0bf62ce8766b8fe51d7dc5a93700e

There is no such thing as normal.

There is routine, there is what you are used to, there is “how things used to be”, but there is no normal.

Life changes, jobs change, children grow, people pass away, new seasons of life come whether you are prepared for them or not.

Stop worrying about being “normal” or working to get things “back to normal”.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lordʼs holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV

Being rooted and established in Christ means that He is your anchor, your security, your place of rest in the midst of chaos. His love is not shaken. Your hope can rest on Him and not in your present circumstances.

Let go of trying to be normal and focus on being established in love with roots that grow deep in the soil of who Jesus is.

Give Him room in your heart and let Him live through you.

New seasons bring new normals but Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Draw your security from God today and dig in to get the most from this time in your life.

The Road Before You

9e743ed8a383f5c05a9944d32be2c5da

The road before you may look different than you expected.

You may not be sure where it will lead.

God does.

He knows what lies before you and He has promised that no matter what happens, He will be with you:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV

God is not suggesting it. He is not asking you to consider it, He is not giving it to you as an option… it is a command: Do not fear.

Fear will never cease to have power over you until it is replaced by a greater power – the love of Jesus.

You are a chosen, treasured child of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross for you. God has called you out of the place you have been and planted you in a new place.

A new place that has new possibilities, new problems, new opposition to face and new victories to experience. Not one of these things is meant to be handled by yourself. You are not alone, God is with you. You are His and He is good at taking care of His own.

Rest today in His grace and mercy – He has an endless supply for you to use.