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.

 

Beyond Forgiveness

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Living in hurt because people I loved lied to me in the past doesn’t help me live in peace now. It clutters my soul with bitterness.

Nursing the regret of dealing with people whose pride cut my life to shreds doesn’t help me heal but keeps me living wounded.

Living wounded is not God’s heart for my life or for the state of my soul.

Forgiveness is vital to the soul.

It is balm and healing. Relief and redeeming.

It is vital because you are valuable.

God wants this for you so much that he paid the price on the cross to guarantee you could receive it and give it.

But God has even more for you and your life.

Jesus spoke of it to the crowd that followed Him up a mountain:

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it.

And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff.  Live generously.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:38-42‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What does life beyond forgiveness look like to Jesus?

It is living a life of generosity.

Someone takes advantage of you- give them what you have and move on with your life. Let it go. Forgive them. Ask God to bless them. Someday you may even be able to bless them yourself.

In this way, you will be living in the abundance of God’s love instead of the famine of past hurts.

God doesn’t deny that bad things happen or that people might take advantage of you but He also doesn’t abandon you to it. He empowers you to forgive, reminds you to let go and pours out His Spirit on you so that someday you can even become a blessing to them.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but in Christ, you can.

Crazy right?!?

No, you can’t do it on your own.

It is possible only by God’s grace, mercy, and power.

True freedom is living generously in your heart, spirit, and soul. It is going beyond the bare minimum to abundance in Christ.

Just start with a prayer:

“Jesus, set me so free from bitterness that I can live in your abundance in every area of my life. You made the way, help me to live it.  In your Name, Amen.”

My friend, may you be empowered by Jesus to live a life filled with freedom, wholeness, and generosity in every area of your life.

Us

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“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

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

There is just us.

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

Love God, Love people.

While You Wait

But GOD’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I can’t see what God is doing “behind the scenes” in your life but I know he is working.

I don’t know how he is going to meet your need, but I know that he will.

You don’t have to worry about the why’s or how’s. You can rest in the truth that he knows them.

God is not finished with your life. He has more for you. Jesus took all that separates God from you so that you can recieve all he has for you.

I am praying that today you will experience God’s matchless, unbroken companionship while you wait.

That you will know his victory, favor, love, peace and joy, while you wait.

He is preparing things for you right now and they will be right on time (maybe not your time but in his time).

While you wait, trust.

While you trust, worship.

While you worship, rest.

Have an amazing weekend enjoying what you have while you wait for what God wants to give you.