Forget it

The longer you follow Jesus, the more you realize you need Him.

My college pastor said it was like this,  “The closer you get to bright light, the more you see the flaws you have”.

It was good to know that the closer I get to God, the more I will see my imperfections and know more intimately my own flaws.

It was good for me to hear early on that in my walk with God that I would never get to a point of “being an expert ” or “being perfect”.

Your life with God is a journey. 

It isn’t a skill to excel in, it is a relationship to have.

Through the good times and bad times, the easy times and the hard times.

Through ALL the times.

“Brother and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,”

Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ NIV

We tend to focus on all the things we are not, all the things we haven’t conquered, all the things we haven’t grown in.

All those things take your focus from God and put it on yourself.

So, forget it. 

Forget it all.

God didn’t choose you because someday you would be perfect. He chose you because He loves you and He is perfect enough for the both of you. 

Forget what is behind you even if it happened five minutes ago.

Love God for who He is and let Him love you for who you are: His kid. 

Your Most Underused Privilege

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Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.”

Psalm 116:2 NLT

Your most luxurious and underused privilege is prayer.

It is mysterious and yet instinctively natural. When there is nowhere else to turn, your heart reaches up.

But you can easily miss the real power of it, the real advantage of being able to pray to a present God. One who has pierced time and eternity to hear you, to listen to all your words, to be your refuge in the world.

He awaits your words,
hears your heart,
soothes your fears,
challenges your assumptions,
strengthens your hands,
sharpens your focus,
adjusts your perspective.

It doesn’t matter how long or how many words you use. What matters is that you are connecting to your Creator and all that it aligns in you.

What matters is spending time in His presence. Prayer is a conversation, so spend some time listening too.

Listen to the voice of your Savior whispering powerful words of truth and identity. You are loved, chosen, blessed and cherished.

Pray.

Find the time to connect with your Creator today. Lay before Him all that is in your heart because He is bending down to listen and love you.

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.