Held in the Hand of God

A pencil in the hand of a master writer is a tool to tell a powerful story.   Your life, in the hands of the loving God who sent His own Son to redeem you, is a story of grace that He is writing every day.

The most powerful thing you can do today is to surrender completely and allow Him to use your life to be an instrument of hope to those around you.

My friend, you are chosen, held, directed and purposed in the gentle hand of God to be used by Him, right where you are. 

What story of grace is Jesus telling through your life today?

In Your Darkest Moments

But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:16 NIV

If you are feeling like the worst of sinners right now, know that you are who Jesus came for.

Run to Him.

His arms are open.

He has more patience for you than you have for yourself.

This is not about being a perfect Christian, it is about letting Him love you when you feel like you are at your darkest.

Grace When You Need It

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.”

1 Corinthians‬ ‭16‬:‭23‬ NLT

Today you may be venturing into unknown territory and uncomfortable terrain.

You may need to have a hard conversation with someone you love.

You may need to extend mercy for someone you don’t love or don’t know.

Whatever happens today, my prayer for you is that the unstoppable grace of Jesus will be with you.

His grace is the very grace of God that was with Him as he walked on the earth, went to the cross and rose from the dead.

His grace is to you, for you and in you.

With Him, you can face anything that comes your way.

 

 

Let Your Light Shine

“If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!”  

Matthew 5:16 MSG

Your opportunity to shine the light of Jesus’ love into people’s lives often happens when you least expect it to.

It happens when your plans change and you have an opportunity to respond grace-full-y.

It happens when there has been a miscommunication you have an opportunity to lead with an apology.

It happens when someone lashes out and hurts you and instead of lashing out back, you bring them a bandaid of mercy.

Moments like these are when Jesus shines through you.

So shine bright, my friend, this dark world needs you.

My Own Worst Enemy

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“Keep and protect me, O God, for in You I have placed my trust and found refuge”.             Psalm 16:1 Amplified Version

Often, it is not the world “out there” or the dark spirit that is set to destroy us that does the most damage – it is ourselves.
We are our own worst enemy.
When I get tired of “myself” and need a Savior, I ask Jesus to rescue me. He is there in a nanosecond and surrounds me with His love, grace, mercy and power.
If you are needing rescue from your own worst enemy, join me and pray:
“Jesus, keep me from getting wrapped up in myself and not seeing what is going on in the lives of those around me.
Keep me from being obsessed with myself.  Obsessed with what others think about me, how I look, how much I eat or don’t eat or whatever. When I am so focused on myself, I don’t see or hear others. 
Keep me from over-analyzing every single word of every conversation trying to dissect every word and how I should respond differently.  When I do this, I completely miss what You are doing all around me. Help me to listen well and hear what others are really saying.
May this be the last moment today I think about myself. May my focus and energy be to worship and magnify You. May my eyes be open to see what You are doing and how you want to use me there. Help me to celebrate how different we are and yet how very similar as human beings. Help me to think more of others than myself. 
Help me to uncover every moment of joy you have prepared for me.
Keep me from me and hold me close to YOU today.
In Your Powerful Name, AMEN.”

The Power of Humility

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“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”

Psalm‬ ‭25‬:‭9‬ NIV

If you need clarity and direction from God today, begin by bringing your pride to the cross.

Remind yourself who the Lord of your life is (and that it isn’t you).

How you live your life is more important to God than where you go.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Micah‬ ‭6‬:‭8‬ NKJV

Need direction? Need answers?

1. Do what is right.

2. Let mercy be your standard in all interactions.

3. Walk humbly with Jesus.

There you go, my friend… it really is that simple.

Have a great week. 

Why We Rejoice

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written hold no reason for such a sentiment. Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and does not know what the future will hold.

And that is the point.

We don’t rejoice because life is good, we rejoice because God is good.

We don’t rejoice only when good things happen because God works through all things.

We don’t wait to rejoice until we have all the answers, we rejoice in knowing that Jesus does.  He loves you and will be with you whatever comes.

Set your heart to rejoice in Jesus today: who He is, what He has done and that your eternal future is secured by His amazing sacrifice.

Your present circumstances are provided for by the strength of His grace no matter what they look like.

We like to rejoice when we get our way but sometimes the harder way is what we actually need to grow in.

Set your mind to delight in a security of the love of Jesus and the mercy of His grace.

Rejoicing when there is nothing to rejoice about is a divine gift that will transform you.

And if you ask Jesus to open your eyes to see what you have right now to rejoice in, He will.

Take the gift and throw a party.

Clarity

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“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”

Psalm‬ ‭25‬:‭9‬ NIV

If you need clarity and direction from God today, begin by cutting your pride off at the knees.

Remind yourself who the Lord of your life is (and that it isn’t you).

How you live your life is more important to God than where you go.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Micah‬ ‭6‬:‭8‬ NKJV

Need direction? Need answers?

1. Do what is right.

2. Let mercy be your standard in all interactions.

3. Walk humbly with Jesus.

There you go, my friend… it really is that simple.

Have a great weekend. 

Desperation

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“Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me.”
Psalm 31:14, 15 MSG
You are desperate when you have run out of options and have done all you can with what you have and come up wanting.
You are desperate when you realize you have no control. No control over how others react. No control over what others think. No control over what others choose.
Desperation feels horrid. It feels scary.
And yet desperation drives us to our knees.
It drives us to an honest place where we admit we have no power and no actual control.
It is the realization that we are impotent to procure any real change, unable to bring about that which we desire.
When we have nothing left, we have everything to gain.
Why? Because it is when we throw ourselves on the mercy of God and admit the truth that we are human and not small gods. We are mortal and God is the immortal, all-powerful, omniscient God.
It is actually the safest place to be when we feel the most vulnerable.
When you are just surviving hour by hour- you find God is walking with you minute by minute.
“…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down(relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]”
Hebrews 13:5 AMP
If you are in a desperate place right now, throw yourself on God, because you are in good hands when you are in His hands.
Are you in a desperate place? 
What can I pray for you? 
What does walking with God minute by minute look like to you right now? 

Just Us.

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There is no such thing as “us” and “them” in the kingdom of God.

There is just us.

“Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as “those evil people” or “those poor people who need our help.” Nor must we search for signs of “love-worthiness”.  Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.”

– Phillip Yancey

We are all in need of the grace and mercy of Godeveryday.