New

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

What does God do in you through Christ? 

He creates “new” in you:

A new mentality.

A new habit.

A new hope.

A new attitude.

A new love.

A new life.

God is presently re-creating you.

You can confidently let go of “what-ifs” and embrace the possibilities with Jesus of “what is”.

That doesn’t mean you’re perfect but that you are present and open to living new, now.

May you live fully in Christ today and discover the wonder of the new things He wants to do.

Are you caught in the doldrums of “what ifs”?

What “new” does God want to do in you? 

How God Tests You.

“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭NIV

The crucible is a vessel used to melt the silver and gold so the impurities of the precious metal will rise to the top. When it does, the refiner will skim it off.

It is the same with your heart. The Great Refiner will use the hot fires of life to cause the impurities in your heart to be revealed so He can clear them out. In His kindness, He will bring to the surface the things that are holding you back. When He brings it to the surface, it means that you are ready to deal with it. Your job is to stay in His Hand, deal with what comes up (which almost always begins by forgiving yourself or others) and allow the healing balm of His love to make you new.

How is your heart? 

What is Jesus bringing up?

What do you need to do with it?

Finish What You Start

Finish what you start with love.

Let faithfulness and love rule the day.

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

Proverbs 3:3 NIV

What if today you were driven by kindness and each task completed with faithfulness?

Not out of legalism or duty but out of love. 

Not to earn anything but to embrace everything God has already given you.

It is better to be faithful in a few things than unfaithful in many.

What would your life look like if you finished what you started?

What are your “few” things you are working on?

Grow Your Gift

Friday

“For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In California, we had a fireplace in our little living room that we would use to warm the house during the few cold, damp winter months. I loved the warmth but I loved the ambiance that it created. I actually had a terrible time keeping it going.  My husband was fabulous at it. I would watch him carefully build it, pay attention to it, poke at it, feed it and adjust it until it was a blazing fire warming the whole house. There were days when he would get the fire started for me in the morning and then leave. I would gaze into the flames for a few minutes and then get engrossed in reading or writing. I would forget about the fire until I realized it was only a smoldering pile of half-burnt wood. It gave me an appreciation of what “fanning the Flame” means.

When God gives you a gift, it comes as a spark. A small light with great potential but will not grow unless it is fed, prodded, poked and paid attention to.

Jesus gives it to you and expects YOU to fan it into a fire.

God gives you the gift but expects you to grow it.

The verse after “fan the flame” is “God has not given us a Spirit of fear”.  God knows that fear is the number one reason we don’t grow our gifts, so he gives us something more powerful than fear: Himself.

When God sparks a gift for you to use and grow in, He helps you grow it with three key things:

Power


Love


Self Discipline

Don’t focus on the fear, my friend. Focus on the Spirit of God within you and fan the flame of what Jesus has given to you.

What has God sparked in you?

What are you doing to grow it?

What is stopping you?

Pause the Panic

Monday

“This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.”
Matthew‬ ‭6:7 MSG

What is causing you to panic right now?

Panic is defined as sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety.

All kinds of things can cause panic to rise within you and when it does, I am going to ask you to pause.

To wait before you react.

To take deep breath in and out.

To pray and ask God for His perspective.

He is your Father and He knows you. He knows why it is happening and why you are responding to it that way.  He also knows how to lead you down the right path, not just the first one that presents itself. Jesus knows if there is a higher way, a better way or a healthier way to deal with it.

He knows how to calm your heartbeat and clear your mind.

When you go to God with your panic, He will give you the wisdom and guidance you need to deal with it.

Pause the panic and pray.  Your Father in heaven loves you and knows what a one-word prayer like “help” means.

Your Promised Land

Frida

Your promised land is right before you.

It is where you are, transformed by God’s transforming love:

It is your heart and mind transformed by God’s love.

It is your relationships transformed by God’s love.

It is your workplace transformed by God’s love.

It is your parenting transformed by God’s love.

It is you – transformed by God’s love and God using you to transform your surroundings.

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15 NIV

Close your eyes, open the eyes of your heart and ask God to give you His vision for your life.

See with eyes of faith.

Taste the bounty you will cultivate.

Feel the joy of habitation.

Be filled to the brim with the love of God and then let it overflow to everyone around 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.

Even There

Thursday
Do you have something in your life that you don’t think God can change?
I call those things, my “even there” places.

You know, the places that you don’t think God can reach.

That thing you think God can’t change or that place that you don’t believe God can help.

Psalm 139:9-10 says,

“If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.”
(NIV)

No matter how difficult or dark your situation, Jesus can guide you out. He will give you the support you need. Because of Jesus, God’s power flows unhindered to you. His healing love can wash over you. His help is available to you.

There is no place that God can’t reach, heal, and restore even there.

The Next Level

Wednesday

Want to go to the next level in your faith journey?

The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20,

“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.”‭‭‬ (‭NIV)

It is a good thing to live your life through Christ, it is going to the next level of your faith to let Jesus live His life through you.

His agenda, your body.

His purposes, your gifts.

His love, your hands.

The “next level” of following Jesus is not a stage of life to achieve, it is a vision-driven, mission-obsessed passion to let Jesus fully have His way in every area of your life.

And you don’t have to wait until you feel ready, you just have to give God persmission to begin.

 

 

Faith or Fear?

Tuesday-DW

Are you living today in faith or in fear?

This faith journey with Jesus is just that, a faith journey.

It is not a fear journey.

Faith and fear are both ways to walk into the unknown and I have a secret to tell you – every new day is unknown. You don’t know what will happen. It could go as planned or go completely different. Sometimes better different, sometimes not so much.

Fear holds you back, faith releases you forward.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore your fear or be in denial of it. I’m encouraging you to not let fear decide what you do or don’t do.

Give Jesus all your unknowns and allow Him full access to the places in your heart that are ruled by fear.

Let His love flood in and wash away the fears that are holding you back today.