When Going Forward Looks Impossible

The Israelites were stuck between the sea and their former slave masters coming to recapture them. Hemmed in by the mountains on both sides, they had no way out and no way forward. Their newfound freedom seemed fleetingly short and ultimately doomed.

It was an impossible situation.

They knew that God had delivered them from slavery but little more. They had not been free long enough to learn how powerful He is. They didn’t know that He would fight for them, split the sea before them and rescue them from an impossible situation.

But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

They did not know God…yet. When you don’t want to go back but don’t know how you are going to go forward, stand still. When going forward looks like an impossibility, stay calm.

He goes before you.

He goes behind you.

He stands next to you.

Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. 

The LORD Himself will fight for you. 

You get to know about God as you trust Him to be God.

Trust Him and watch what He is about to do.

Don’t Wait For Someday

“I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.”‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Today you don’t have to strive to take care of “number one”, you are in the care of Jesus.

Today you don’t have to stress to win the approval of others, you are accepted by Jesus.

Today you are called by the God who loves you to come near.

You don’t have to wait until tomorrow. 

You don’t have to wait until someday when you are good enough or until you get your life altogether or until you “get better” at whatever you are trying to get better at.

Don’t wait, live in the truth of God’s love for you today.

Wherever You Are

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 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 139:7-10 NIV

Wherever you are, God is with you.

He is there in the light and joyous seasons as well as the heavy and dark ones.

He is there when everything falls apart and there when everything comes together.

He is there when everything suddenly changes and He will bring encouragement, strength, direction, and peace drawn from the unchangeable depths of grace that you will never be able to exhaust.

Wherever you are, God is with you today.

Let Your Light Shine

“If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!”  

Matthew 5:16 MSG

Your opportunity to shine the light of Jesus’ love into people’s lives often happens when you least expect it to.

It happens when your plans change and you have an opportunity to respond grace-full-y.

It happens when there has been a miscommunication you have an opportunity to lead with an apology.

It happens when someone lashes out and hurts you and instead of lashing out back, you bring them a bandaid of mercy.

Moments like these are when Jesus shines through you.

So shine bright, my friend, this dark world needs you.

What Drives Out Fear?

Tuesday

What drives out fear? Love does.

Don’t believe me? Think back to a time when you were in love with somebody. How bold were you? How much hope did you have for the future? Did you do any crazy things with them because you were in love with them?

Right this minute, you are loved with a perfect love from a sinless Savior who sacrificed Himself so that you could live unhindered by fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The word perfect here doesn’t mean flawless, it means complete. It means complete love.  Not a temporary infatuation but a deep developed love that stands the test of time and eternity.

His was a love that bleeds when the lash tore open His back and the splintered wood of the cross dug into it. A love that persevered through the unendurable physical and spiritual pain of the cross until He could utter the truth, “it is finished”.

When fear rises up to dismantle your faith or weave it’s tentacles around your feet to trip you up, you must remember this fact: You have nothing to fear. You are in love. 

Christ took your punishment completely so that you could be immersed in His love and be made whole.

Jesus walked the earth, spoke truth to all who would listen, healed broken bodies and restored broken souls to God. It was His love that breathed life into the first lungs of man and His word that drove the darkness and chaos back before that and it is His love that sets you free to love as freely and completely as you are loved.

What drives fear out?
Love.

The love of Jesus.

Hang your hat on it and get down to the business of loving others with the confident abandon that comes with it.

Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow

Friday
“I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.”
‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬
You don’t have to strive to take care of “number one” or stress to win the approval of others.
You are called by God.
You are loved by your Heavenly Father.
You are cared for by Jesus.
You don’t have to wait until tomorrow to live loved. 
You don’t have to wait until you get your life altogether or until you “get better” at whatever you are trying to get better at.
Because of what Jesus did, you have the right to live as a cherished and loved child of God every day, including this one.
And as you do, you will not walk alone, Jesus will walk with you.
He will be your companion and guide you.
He will remind you that you are chosen by God to make a difference today in the world you live in.
He will remind you that your value doesn’t depend on what others think of you but it is anchored on what God thinks of you.
He thinks you are His amazing kid and loves you when you are a mess and loves you when you are all cleaned up and in every moment in between.
It is time to start living your life in solid truth of God’s call, love, and care for you.
Don’t wait until tomorrow, start living in it 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.

 

 

Unexpected Storms

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“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”  Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭24‬ NIV

Since living in Southern Florida for the past couple of years, I have a healthy respect for storms that come on quickly and are ferocious. Almost every morning in the summer, the fluffy white clouds that fill the blue expanse of the sky turn to churning dark thunderclouds by the afternoon.  Some afternoon storms are gentle showers and over quickly. Often they rip the sky open with the crack of lightning, heart-pounding thunderclaps and vicious wind.

The verse above describes a storm on the Sea of Galilee that came on so suddenly and was so ferocious that seasoned fisherman (the disciples) feared for their lives.

And what was Jesus doing? He was sleeping. He was resting.

He didn’t get in the boat at the beginning of the voyage and quiet the winds and calm the waves before he fell asleep, Jesus rested right in the middle of it.

The storm did not disturb him.

How did Jesus rest in the midst of an unexpected storm?

Jesus knew before He got into the boat:

  1.  That God, His Father determined His time on earth, not a storm- even the most ferocious of ones.
  2.  Who and whose He was: the Son of God, on a mission from God, filled with the power of God.
  3. He knew that His mission was not over yet.

The best thing for you to do in a storm is to trust God and rest. 

Rest in God’s sovereignty.  He knows the moment you will cross into eternity.  This storm will not be the end of your story and God does not have half a plan.

Rest in knowing who and whose you are: a cherished child of God, redeemed by the cross of Christ to live life loved and drenched in God’s grace.

Rest in the knowledge that if you are here, God’s mission for you is not done yet.

At the beginning of this year, I felt the Lord press me to learn how to rest better. How to lean on Him more, how to trust Him to meet me more in my everyday challenges and allow His power to flow.

So instead of saying, “what do I need to work on today?”,

I replaced it with “what do I need to rest in today?”

It completely changed my perspective and set my heart to rest in His love and work from that truth.

If God has asked you to do it, He will give you what you need to get through it.

What do you need to rest in today?

Strong in Grace

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“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The grace of Jesus means that you are loved recklessly just as you are. It means that you already have God’s approval. It means that you are completely forgiven and free.

It means that you no longer have to walk a road chosen for you by sin and brokenness. The strong and stubborn grace that is in Jesus means that you are free to journey down a new road, an unknown road, the road made clear by the cross. A road that comes with the companion of a Savior who is all about restoring that which was lost and getting you where He originally meant for you to be.

The grace that is in Christ Jesus drove Him from heaven to walk on earth for the sake of love. It drove Him to restore, heal, reach out to the “down and outs” and anger the religious powers that be.  It drove Him to become the perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice of a Holy God to restore precious sons and daughters who would have no hope of restoring themselves to a good, good Heavenly Father.

Get busy receiving God’s amazing love today.  Give Jesus the condemnation that is bearing down on your head and let Him wrap His arms of compassion, dripping with grace, around your soul.

You may perceive weakness as a failure but God perceives it as reality.  A reality that when acknowledged allows you to fully receive God’s strength. Jesus does not ask you to make your resolve stronger, He asks you to make your dependence on Him deeper.

How are you going to be strong in the grace of Christ Jesus today?

Grace For Today

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You don’t have to wait for the right conditions in your life or until you have more time or money.

You don’t have to wait until you are stronger or smarter or better behaved.

The grace God has given you has nothing to do with how strong or smart or well behaved you are but you have it nonetheless – it is yours.

Grace that allows you to change, grace that inspires you to become who God created you to be.

Grace gives you strength and wisdom.

“God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears.

He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.”

‭‭Titus‬ ‭2:11-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

The same grace that saves you for all eternity transforms your life today.

Today, you can begin to live differently, think differently, love differently.

Not tomorrow, or later-when-everything-is-easier but today.

Don’t wait for one more second to live in the grace God sacrificed to give you.

Start Today.