Unexpected Storms

4b231381186e09c4bae49567d9223ab6-2

“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

01

“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

82a6669bad1ec7c2a4a7682afd0462b7

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.

Restored

8a196e5e5f5d56220da42529e4bbdc1c
Far from teaching us to have it all, the world gives us great lessons on how to fake it until you make it, how to function in dysfunction and how to live well while being utterly broken inside.
The good news of Jesus Christ is that He has taken your brokenness upon Himself and in return offers you His wholeness. In a relationship with Jesus, He works from the inside out to restore your mind, heal your heart, fill your soul, and ignite your spirit to God’s original design.
He wants to teach you how to live with Him.
How to live whole and treasured.
How to live trusting and trusted.
How to live nurtured and nourished.
How to love and be loved.
“He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”
Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭21-24‬ MSG
It takes time and perseverance.
God provides the time, we provide the perseverance.
Don’t give up today.

Faith in the Unseen

9ad734f1ca1d214763550fa3c6352c4b--charles-spurgeon-quotes-in-christ-alone

“Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.”      Hebrews 11:10 MSG

When God called Abraham to leave his country, He was calling Abraham to stop looking at what was behind him and look ahead to what is in front of him.

God is calling you to stop looking back at all the reasons why you can’t be who God has called you to be and keep your eyes on the reason why you can: Jesus.

Any and all reasons why you “can’t” were carried to the cross with Jesus. He took them, embraced them and destroyed them there. Mind you, this isn’t about being in denial about your issues, this is about being clear about your identity in Christ.

When God asked Abraham to leave his past behind, He changed his name,  He gave him a new identity. When God calls you to be His own, He gives you more than a fresh start, He gives you a new identity in Christ.

And He walks with you every day to help you work out your issues and work in your new identity.

It takes a while to see yourself as God sees you and apply it to your life. It is a lifelong journey that takes faith.

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.”     Hebrews 11: 2 MSG

Freedom

love-quotes_4293-3

“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”

Galatians 5:1 MSG

Don’t let the enemy deceive you into believing are still a slave to your flesh and subject to it’s every whim.

You are not a slave to your flesh, you are a child of God.

You are chosen, loved, provided for and empowered to live your life in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

You belong to Christ and you have permission to live like it.

What is keeping you in bondage?

What does freedom from that look like today?

Nothing is stronger than God’s love for you.

Live loved.

Be Loved

You are loved.

You are loved every day of your life and will be loved every day until your death and then beyond into eternity.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You Are Loved.

Because of the cross, nothing can separate from the love of your Heavenly Father and therefore nothing should separate you from it.

Not fear.

Not shame.

Not worry.

All of these were taken and paid for by Jesus so that you can live in the glorious freedom of being a cherished child of God.

So that you can experience your life like a child who feels safe and secure: explore, enjoy and play.

You have nothing to fear and nothing to prove.

So explore.

Enjoy.

Play.

Beloved, live loved today.