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?

Chosen

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There are other moments in life that give you soul scars.

Moments that become memories that hide in the silence and shadows of your heart.

They feed into the fears of “not worthy” and enable the core insecurities of “not enough”.

God’s Word brings light to the shadows and His voice to the silent places in your heart.

Jesus came to bring to completion the Word spoken in Isaiah:

“For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:9,10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus came to complete it,
to reclaim you,
to reconcile you to God,
has chosen you,
pursued you,
paid for you,
cherishes you,
will not abandon you.

Whispers of rejection will remind you of past rejections. They will taint every relationship and interaction you have.

You may fear rejection but Jesus came to empty the word of its crippling power.

He is the God who says to you:

“I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” (NIV‬‬)

“I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you. Don’t panic. I’m with you.” ‭‭‬ ‭(MSG‬‬)

“You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you;” (‭NKJV‬‬)

Jesus will whisper this truth to you every day, in every way He can until you will believe it, embrace it and live in it.

YOU ARE HIS.
YOU ARE CHOSEN.

Sorry for yelling at you but you haven’t been listening.

Listen and believe.

Reread if necessary.

How Regret Can Be Gift

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God knows you.

He knows your strengths and weaknesses.

He knows every regret you have ever had and why you have it.

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.”

Psalm‬ ‭139‬:‭1‬ NIV

More than that, God knows how you can grow from it.

God can change your regret into a gift.

God can turn a memory of disappointment into a moment of discovery, a revelation of wisdom, a catalyst for change.

You don’t have to repeat the past. You don’t have to live with regret.

In Christ, you are a new creation and have His power within you to change, to transform, to grow.

Useless regrets are the ones you don’t learn from.

May there be NO useless regrets in your life.

May you learn from every one of them.

May God use every regret to set you free to be who He has created you to be.

What regret can God transform into a gift today?

A Christmas Moment

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Immanuel.
God with us.
The Second Person of the Trinity, eternal, all-powerful, left heaven to add humanity to His deity.
He came to earth to bring heaven to humanity.
He came to bring heaven to you.
“All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).”   
Isaiah 7:14 NLT
May you have a moment today where the awe-inspiring truth of Christmas captures your soul and remember that He did it all for you.

Lost

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Feeling lost is a terrible feeling.

Years ago on the way out of Disneyland Kyle got lost. I wasn’t holding his hand at the time and when I looked around I didn’t see him. He got distracted by a new toy and got lost in the surging crowd. I told Bobby, we stopped and immediately began the search. We went back to where we came from and began calling his name. Within moments, Bobby had him but Kyle was shaken up.

Big tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “I couldn’t see you, I couldn’t find you”. I gave him a big hug and I heard Bobby say, “You did the right thing- you stopped right where you were. We will always find you, always come back and get you.”

Kyle stuck close to me for a while after that and didn’t let go of my hand. He wanted the security of my hand and needed me to guide him through the crowd. He knew I could see more than he could, that I was stronger than he was, could protect him and knew where we were going. I was more than fine with him trusting me to guide him – I wanted to. I wanted my child close and I didn’t let go of his hand either.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”    Luke 19:10

Jesus said that he came to seek and save the lost. He came equipped with the Father’s heart of desperation to find them. To find you & me.

He came for the ones that got distracted, swallowed up by the crowd and blinded by those around them. For the ones who panic and don’t know who or where they are.

Jesus came to:

Seek and save.

Find and hold.

Reclaim and restore.  

Many things can cause that terrible “I’m lost” feeling. It’s a scary feeling.

Stop wherever you are and let Jesus find you. He loves you and has crossed the boundary of heaven and earth to embrace you with His love.  Let Him guide you through the crushing crowd of fears and failures. He can see more than you can, is stronger than you are and knows how to direct you out of it.

Hold on and let Him hold onto you today.

 

Even If

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The best way to break the power of the past is to forgive.

Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a choice. A choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them. Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them. 

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice.

And every day after, continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

“The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17 MSG

Forgiveness is not about trust, it is about freedom.

What is keeping you from forgiving them?

What are you afraid of?

What does Jesus say about it?

The Encourager

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“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.”

Psalm 10:17 NIV

There are times when all you really want is someone to hear you out, listen to you when you need to talk, sit with you and encourage you. To give you wisdom and guidance. To remind you that you are cherished and loved.

You may look to others to give it to you but you have a God that already does. 

He is the great listener and the ultimate encourager.

Stop looking to others to give you what you can only get from God.

You have God’s full attention today.

What are you going to do with it?