The Narrative​

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What narrative plays in the background of your life that fuels your choices and drives your focus?

Is it an old story or your new one in Christ?

Jesus came to change your story.

God has called you to live a different story than the one that was handed down to you from your parents or the world.

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

It’s a new way of living, of thinking, of being.

It is a new story with a new ending.

Sometimes you may revert to your old ways, old why’s, the old dialogue, the old labels, old mode of operation but every day is a new day to learn how to live with a new narrative- God’s.

In Christ, you have everything you need to live a new one.

This is not a once-in-a-lifetime change, it is an every-day-opportunity-to-do-it-differently, and learn-to-live-by-the-grace-of-Jesus change.

Take a moment…take a deep breath, and remember you have a new story to live today.

Leave the old one at the cross and embrace the new one with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Whose story are you living?

Not Empty Handed

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“And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed.”

Deuteronomy 15:13 NIV

My friend, when you have been released to live a new life in Christ you do not begin your new life empty-handed.

In the Old Testament when God laid out to the Israelites how their community would work, He put in a clause to assure that those who found themselves in desperate financial situations would have a way out. If they sold themselves into slavery to survive, they would not have to stay a slave forever – it could only last 7 years. Then their owner must release the slave and send them away with the means to begin a new life.

It was called The Lord’s Release.

Jesus is the fulfillment of The Lord’s Release.

God will use what the enemy meant for harm to bring you good and fill your hands with blessings.

God will give you what you need when you need it.

You are not empty handed as a child of God.

He may not show you the end of the new road you are on but He will give you the strength to take each step on it.

You are provided for, equipped and empowered to walk in freedom in Christ today.

Go after all God has called you to do!

Not Empty Handed

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“And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed.”

Deuteronomy 15:13 NIV

My friend, when you have been released to live a new life in Christ you do not begin your new life empty-handed.

In the Old Testament when God laid out to the Israelites how their community would work, He put in a clause to assure that those who found themselves in desperate financial situations would have a way out. If they sold themselves into slavery to survive, they would not have to stay a slave forever – it could only last 7 years. Then their owner must release the slave and send them away with the means to begin a new life.

It was called The Lord’s Release.

Jesus is the fulfillment of The Lord’s Release.

God will use what the enemy meant for harm to bring you good and fill your hands with blessings.

God will give you what you need when you need it.

You are not empty handed as a child of God.

He may not show you the end of the new road you are on but He will give you the strength to take each step on it.

You are provided for, equipped and empowered to walk in freedom in Christ today.

Go after all God has called you to do!

 

God Can Make a Way

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Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

John‬ ‭11‬:‭43-44‬ NIV

God can make a way where there seems to be no way.

Lazarus was dead. His body wrapped tightly in grave clothes and laid to rest. The world had already moved on, the end of the story already written. It was over.

But the story was not over for God.

Just when Mary and Martha thought that it was too late, Jesus came and did the most unexpected thing: he raised Lazarus from the dead. He had someone roll away the stone and then called him out.

In one of the most remarkable passages of scripture, Jesus speaks to death and it is defied. It is powerless before the commanding Word of the Son of God.

You may think that your story has already been written.  That it is over. That where you are right now is where you will always be. That your usefulness, your marriage, your ministry, your job, your purpose, your hopes lay dead and lifeless at your feet.

Jesus still defies death. You may think the story is over but God doesn’t.

He will call life from death and unbind the grave clothes that cling.

He will call your name, remind you who you are and whose you are.

He will change the ending. 

He will resurrect relationships, restore callings, redefine life as you know it and move you into the light.

The story of Lazarus is more than an example of a miracle, it is a proclamation of the power of Jesus to raise the dead and reminder to us today that all death means nothing in the light of His love.

When fear rises up to tell you that your story is already over, begin to loudly proclaim that in Christ your story has only just begun.

Celebration of New Life

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The restful moment found, experienced and breathed in. Reinvigorated by an authentic connection of adoration.
“Oh come let us adore him,
Oh come let us adore him,
Oh come let us adore him,
Christ the King”
Remembering the moment that your relationship to Christ changed from knowing of him to knowing him. Knowing he is real, loves you and will touch your life with love’s unconditional voice, not just once but every day. Not just in some things, but in big things and small things.
That which began in a manger continues in my heart today- Emmanuel, God with us, God with me.
It’s not business, it’s personal.
May you experience a moment of rediscovering that Christmas is more than a tradition but a worldwide celebration of new life in Christ, starting with yours.

You are Made 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
You are a new creation in Christ.
This statement is not past tense. It doesn’t say you were a new creation the second you got saved and from that moment you have been getting old again.
No, the Word says you are a new creation. Present tense.
What does God want to do today? 
He wants to create a new thing in you:
A new mentality.
A new habit.
A new hope.
A new attitude.
A new love.
A new life.
You don’t have to be caught in the momentum of past habits or past regrets, past failures or past mistakes. The past is over. You don’t live there. You live here and now in Christ.
Let go of “what-ifs” and embrace the possibilities with Jesus in “what is”.
That doesn’t mean you’re perfect but that you are present and open to living new, now.
Are you caught in the doldrums of “what ifs”?
What does letting go of the past mean to you?
You are made new in Christ.
May you live fully in Christ today and discover the wonder of the new things He wants to do.

Habits

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We all have old habits that we want to get rid of.

The thing is, you have had those habits for so long and they are so ingrained that you do it without even thinking It is almost unconscious.

That kind of habit takes an enormous amount of energy to reform or get rid of but in Christ it is possible. It might take almost as long to unlearn as it did to learn but you can unlearn it.

However, there is a particular old habit that Jesus is more concerned about than the one you are thinking of.

It is a habit that belongs to your old nature: you desire to get your way in everything and work to make sure that it happens. Maybe even unconsciously, you maneuver to manipulate circumstances or people to make your way possible.

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

It IS human nature but you have a new nature in Christ. You have been recreated in Him. The old has gone, the new has come.

But old habits die hard.

When we struggle, we think it is because God doesn’t love us. In reality, it might be that He loves you so much that He will use the stressful opportunity at hand to break an old nature habit. Those habits are sabotaging your freedom to live in your new nature.

When you feel insecure, instead of going back to old habits, make a new habit of seeking God and asking Him to show you how to think like Him in it.

“Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

 

What if?

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“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬a ‭NLT‬‬

What if instead of asking God to give you strength to live your life, you asked him to show you a different way of living it? 
What if instead of looking for the reasons why things happened yesterday, you looked for what is possible with God today?
What if instead of assuming your life is already set in motion, you ask God if what your living is His best?
What if you dare to believe He has more for you? 
What if you laid down your to-do list and picked up His? 
What unseen paths does God have for you today? 
Life with Jesus is a journey of overcoming and conquering, first steps and new beginnings. It is an adventure of discovery and healing, of bold moves and humble hearts. 
It is possible if you are teachable.
If you are available, Jesus will show you a new way to be, a new way to love, a new way to work and a new way to live your life.
His yoke, your life, new way. 

Doing the Impossible

“Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
Matthew‬ ‭14:28-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It’s impossible to walk on water.

It’s impossible to feed 5000 people with a small boys lunch.

It’s impossible to heal a man born blind.

Jesus did all this and more while inviting his disciples to join him.

Jesus will invite you to do the impossible without expecting you to do it in your own strength. He knows you can’t do it without him. He fully expects you to fully depend on him for it. 

Peter wanted to be where Jesus was, which happened to be on the water.

Peter helped Jesus feed over 5000 people by doing what Jesus told him to do: pass out bread and fish.

Neither miracle came from Peter’s faith but from Peter’s focus. He was focused on following Jesus, on being where Jesus was and ended up doing impossible things.

When you follow Jesus, you will end up doing impossible things because of who he is not because of who you are. 

Whew, that is a relief.

Instead of fixating on how impossible it is to walk in the freedom Jesus paid for you to live in, just admit to yourself that IS IMPOSSIBLE in your own strength.

Without Jesus there is no way you can forgive your abuser, be set free from your past, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, be free from guilt and condemnation, walk away from a lifetime of lies and bondage and embrace the truth that you are a precious cherished child of God who is free to live everyday in the lavish love of Jesus Christ.

Don’t focus on what is impossible. 

Don’t even focus on your own faith.

Focus on following Jesus and following through on what he has asked you to do.

Today I am praying for you to receive all Jesus has for you, to boldly go with him to places you have never been before. To experience new life, new love, new freedom, new hope and a new normal. 

In Jesus Name, Amen.

A Lifestyle of Rest

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God took six days to create the world. He separated light from darkness, created animals and plant life, filled the oceans and breathed life into the man.

He created then He rested. He didn’t rest because he was tired, he rested to set an example for us.

The work was finished and He celebrated it.

He took time to revel in it, enjoy it, celebrate it and then named it Sabbath. A stopping point, a ceasing place.

He took the time to recognize the wonder of new life and joy of new relationships.

Jesus uttered the words “it is finished” on the cross.

The work to reconcile you to God is done.

You can’t add to what was done on the Cross or take anything away from it. You can’t make yourself “more right” or less right” with God.

What you can do is receive it.

What you must do is rest in it.

What you can do is celebrate it.

Make time to recognize the wonder this life and joy of newly created moments and relationships.

Make time to celebrate what God is creating in your life and enjoy your relationship with Him.

When you do, a deep rest will settle in your soul and you will experience your life in a whole new way- the way God created you to experience it.

May your day be filled with holy moments of continual stopping and celebrating the wonder of this life in Christ.