Are You Stressed?

Are you stressed?

Of course you are, so am I.

There is a lot to be stressed about.

That is why we need to take a break from over thinking.

That is why we need to take a break from fear.

Take a holiday from doubt.

Take a permanent vacation from unbelief. 

Forget it all and make space to remember who you are in God and who God is in you.

You are God’s child redeemed by the blood of Jesus, embraced within the Father’s heart and filled with the Spirit of love, power and a sound mind for all that you will face.

Hebrews 4:11 says, “So then we must be eager to experience this faith-rest life, so that no one falls short by following the same pattern of doubt and unbelief.”  (TPT)

Break away from stress today and take as much time as you need to rest in the truth that you are loved.

Living in Astonishing Love

“Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!-EPHESIANS 3:18-19 THE PASSION TRANSLATION

It’s hard to understand.

It takes a lifetime to discover.

It is more that we can imagine and lasts longer than we can measure.

It is the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions.

It is far reaching and for all.

It is personal and intimate. 

It is extravagant and overflowing.

Jesus loves and loves and loves and loves.

Not just on special days but for every day.

His love is the beautiful, powerful, strong, unrelenting, eternal love of the Father poured into your soul until it overflows.

Throw off all fear of rejection and cannon ball into the expanse of it.

Experiencing the Love of God

“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.” John 15:9, The Passion Translation

Can you imagine how God the Father loves God the Son?

It must be amazing to be that secure in how God feels about you. 

Jesus experienced the love of God every moment of every day with nothing hindering it.

That didn’t mean His life was without pain or trial.

On the contrary, the life of Jesus was full of pain, fear, anger and loss.

He wept. He yelled. He made people angry -so angry, in fact, that they plotted to kill Him (and did).

Yet, He lived loved.

Without reserve.

He fully offered all He had and all He knew.

It’s the same love.

The same love God has for Jesus, He has for us.

Generous, strong, real, glorious love.

Jesus offers this same unrelenting love as the nourishment we are meant to draw from as we live each moment of our lives. The good and the bad times, the amazing and the heartbreaking times, the sweet and the bitter times.

Every single one.

God’s love doesn’t change towards us according to what is happening to us. It is the fuel that gets us through it all.

May this same love be a balm to your soul today as you face whatever realities life is bringing to you. 

Love Doesn’t Give Up

“Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.” 1 Corinthians 13:7, The Passion Translation

The sentence above is the closing sentence of a paragraph about love.

We read the words and long for the truth of them to be real in our lives.

We long for more.

We are made for more of this kind of love.

We try to love like this and fail miserably because we are human.

Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others.

But we stop believing the best. We give up. We get tired.

But God does not. 

He does not give up.

He does not let go.

His love is a safe place of shelter for all who need it. 

And we all need it.

If you have given up believing the best for yourself, your loved-ones or your circumstances, cling to the truth of this passage. 

This isn’t about you trying harder to love better, it is about you burrowing into God’s strong love for you and letting Him believe the best is yet to come. 

We take failure as defeat.

God takes failure and forms it into hope.

That is how He loves.

This is how He will help you love.

May the love of God hold you when you are tired, give you hope when you feel lost and enough light for the next step you need to take today.

Don’t Dissolve It, Resolve It.

Relationships are not easy.

They take grace, forgiveness, honesty, and courage.

You may think that it would be easier and simpler to withdraw, it is not.

Don’t cheat yourself or others by withdrawing in fear.

Instead, go toward the conflict and talk about it. 

Be courageous.

Don’t give up on the relationship, work on it. 

Quiet the fear-filled beat of your heart and listen for the encouraging whisper of the Holy Spirit.

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,”‭‭ 

Romans‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God can make a way where there seems to be no way.

Don’t dissolve the relationship, resolve it.

Walk

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”
2 John 1:6 NIV

Love always takes a step of faith.

It always feels like a risk.

It is always worth it.

Jesus died and rose to life so that you could live in the fullness and freedom of His love.

God will work in you but He will not walk for you.

That is up to you.

What does walking in love mean to you today?

Rooted In Love

“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

My friend, 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.

Let go of trying to be normal and focus on being established in God’s love for you with roots that grow deep to withstand the storms of change.

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

Let Love Rule

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 

Proverbs 3:3 NIV

Let love rule the day.

Love is faithful or it’s not love.

Love is truthful or it’s not love.

Love honors or it’s not love.

In Christ, you are reborn in love.

Surrounded by it, filled with it and moved to serve by it.

Be faithful to finish what you start, make promises and keep them, and honor your commitments.

Don’t overcommit or over promise.

Let your yes be yes and no be no.

God’s love is infinite but you are not.

You are a unique finite expression of the image of God, created on purpose with a purpose and equipped by the Spirit of God to live it.

You don’t have to fulfill everyone’s purpose – just yours.

As you do, let love and faithfulness never leave you.

Keep them close.

May God give you courage today to continue in love when the road gets narrow and follow through to the end when you want to quit.

God’s Passionate Love For You

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”

Philippians 1:6 MSG

My prayer for you is that you will begin to see yourself in the light of God’s passionate love for you:

He has chosen you.
Rescued you.
Provided for you.
Forgiven you.
Equipped you.
Goes before you.
Follows up after you. 

Whatever you are struggling with today, I want you to remember that you are surrounded by God’s love – even if you don’t feel it, don’t know what to do with it and have no idea how to receive it.

He is for you.

He will help you.

He will not give up on you.

He will finish what He started in you.

A Matter of Perspective

Perspective is powerful. 

Jesus said how you see the world around you, impacts you:

How you look at the world around you impacts how you experience the world within you.

“Your eyes are windows into your body.  If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”‭‭ 

Matthew‬ ‭6:22-23‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Have you “dropped the blinds” and given up?

If so, you are in a dark place. 

Jesus came for you. 

He came to unleash heaven’s light and love in you. 

He came to heal the hurts and tend the wounds that fester distrust and fear.

He came to restore wonder.

He came to restore you.

My prayer for you today is that you will open your heart to be filled with God’s love and let it open your eyes to see yourself and the world around you in a new way – the way He does.