Getting Back to Basics

Whenever you feel lost and unsure of how to start up again, go back to the basics.
 
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.
 
2 Peter 1:5-9 MSG
 
Basic Faith – the first step, the abandoned sin, throwing of oneself upon the mercy of God and walking forward into the unseen with the belief that you are not alone to develop.
 
Good Character – staying true to what you believe in the little things and letting those small choices of integrity overflow into the big things as you grow.
 
Spiritual Understanding – the moments you can’t explain, but know are true.
 
Alert Discipline – not allowing time, tiredness, busyness, past baggage, old excuses erode right habits, receiving grace and energy from God.
 
Passionate Patience – being able to expectantly wait for one thing while wholehearted working for another. Choosing to focus on being obedient, not on the results of being obedient.
 
Reverent Wonder – the awe of seeing God with the wide eyes of a childlike heart.
 
Warm Friendliness – the smile, the hug, the gentle knowing atmosphere of those who are confidently walking in their purpose.
 
Generous Love – being able to love those closest to us without fear or conditional embraces and the ability to love those we barely know with an authenticity that only comes from intimately knowing God.
 
These are my own definitions of the list in 2 Peter 1:5. 
 
These are not a to-do list, this is a Jesus-help-me-be list.
 
May you find your way back to the basics and thrive by the grace of God in each one today.

Bring It

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Your chance to shine will look different than you think it does.

It comes when you are grumpy and tired. It comes when you’ve spent your energy and are way done.

You can do pretty well with expected opportunities to shine. You can plan and prepare. Maybe even practice a bit in your mind and go through the situation a few times mentally.

But the very best time to shine your light is when there is no plan.

When it is inconvenient.

When people are demanding and immature.

When you are with people who have already spent the allotted amount of patience for them.

These are the moments Jesus shines through you.

“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

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

Bring it.

How to Not Fret

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Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

After yesterday’s command of “ Do Not Fret” comes the how: Trust in the LORD.

Trust means to lean on and be boldly confident in.

You can be boldly confident in the Lord because He knows what is happening even if you do not. He not only sees the short game – what will happen right now, but He also sees the long game – what will happen down the line.

Trust and do good.

While you trust in God, don’t be idle.

Be productive and creative right where you are.

Dwell in the land – focus your energy on being present today and fully committed to embracing the small moments of wonder and joy.

This season will change and a new season will be upon you before you know it.

Don’t be so focused on what you can’t see that you miss what you can.

Someone within the reach of your grasp needs a hug, needs prayer, needs someone to encourage them – be that someone.

This is your land – where you are today. Make the most of it. Invest in it. Decorate the walls and take pictures of it.

Celebrate what God has given you.

Whatever your day may bring, my friend, I am going to ask you to move the focus of your energy from fretting to trusting.  Lean on Jesus and ask him to sharpen your senses to see the wonder around you. 

Trust. Dwell. Enjoy.

How are you leaning on Jesus today?

What do you need to be doing while you trust God?

What are you celebrating?

Made For More

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You are created to live every day with:

overwhelming love,

deep joy,

persistent peace,

solid patience,

thoughtful kindness,

soul deep goodness,

stubborn faithfulness,

grace-filled gentleness and

Spirit inspired self-control.

What a beautiful existence, can you imagine?

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God wants you to do more than just imagine it, He wants you to live it.

Jesus paid for it.

The Holy Spirit provides it.

So you can live it.

You were made for more, don’t settle for anything less.

What is holding you back?

Opportunities to Shine


Opportunities to shine your light may look different than you think the they do.

They come when you are grumpy and tired. They come when you’ve spent your energy and are done.

I know you can do pretty well with expected opportunities to shine. You can plan and prepare. Maybe practice a bit in your mind, you know, go through the situation a few times mentally.

But the very best opportunities to shine are not in your plans. They are inconvenient. They come with people who are demanding and immature. They come from people who have already spent the allotted amount of patience you have for them.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I know that the word humble can be a hard one to grasp but it has nothing to do with being humiliated.

Being humble is a security of self that is forged by your salvation. It is knowing who you are in Christ as well as knowing who Chist is in you: He is Savior, forgiver, redeemer, creator, all powerful God. He is your guide, your strength, your hope and your peace. He is the great I AM and is unlimited in power and reach. He is the light of the world.

Being humble means that you can be happy and content when you are not in control.

Being gentle means that you have unclinched your hands from steering the direction of your life and have let Jesus take the wheel.

Being patient means bearing with those who don’t deserve your patience and loving people who are not easy to love.

This is not about the big things but the little ones: the unexpected phone calls, the interruptions that add or postpone your to-do list, the change of plans because some people are unorganized.

These are the moments when being humble matters the most.

There are the moments when being gentle makes all the difference.

These are the moments when others will recognize that the patience you are extending to them is not natural but God given.

These are the moments Jesus shines through you.

So shine bright, my freind, this dark world needs you to.

Unexpected Opportunities 

  
Unexpected opportunities to shine your light look different than you think they do. 

They come when you are grumpy and tired. They come when you’ve spent your energy and are done.

If you are like me, you can do pretty well with expected opportunities to shine. You can plan and prepare. Maybe practice a bit in your mind, you know, go through the situation a few times mentally. But the unexpected opportunities are not in your plans. They are inconvenient. They come with people who are demanding and immature. They come from people who have already spent the allotted amount of patience you have for them. 

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I know that the word humble can be a hard one to understand. It has nothing to do with being humiliated. Being humble in the way this verse refers to is a state of resting in a security of self that is forged by your salvation. It is knowing who you are in Christ as well as knowing who Chist is in you: He is Savior, forgiver, redeemer, creator, all powerful God. He is your guide, your strength, your hope and your peace. He is the great I AM and is unlimited in power and reach. He is the light of the world.

Being humble means that you can be happy and content when you are not in control.

Being gentle means that you have unclinched your hands from steering the direction of your life and have let Jesus take the wheel.

Being patient means bearing with those who don’t deserve your patience and loving people who are not easy to love.

I’m not really talking about the big things here but the little ones. The unexpected phone calls. The interruptions that add or postpone your to-do list. The change of plans because some people are unorganized. 

These are the moments when being humble matters the most.

There are the moments when being gentle makes all the difference.

These are the moments when others will recognize that the patience you are extending to them is not natural but must be from God.

These are the moments Jesus shines through you. These are your unexpected opportunities to shine your light. 

Fresh Fruit

  
Fresh fruit is valuable. 

Fresh fruit is beautiful.

All fruit is fragile.

Although the it holds within itself seeds to reproduce, the main function of fruit is to nourish others. 

It isn’t achieved by working hard to grow itself but by abiding in the nourishment of the tree.

Old fruit is mushy.

Old fruit is moldy.

Old fruit is unusable.

Fruit is best when it is fresh, it is the same with the fruit of the Spirit:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)

If you want fresh joy to infuse your spirit,you don’t get it by trying to be joyful- you get it by abiding in God’s presence. 

You can’t walk in God’s peace until you get God’s perspective. 

When you focus on how God has been faithful to you, a desire to be faithful is birthed in you.

When you receive the gentle love of Jesus, you will have gentle love to nourish others with. 

And the crazy thing about self control is that it is strongest when you are  surrendered. 

How is your spiritual fruit looking?

Are you holding on to moldy love? 

Jaded joy? 

Puny peace? 

Stop holding into it and lay it down at the feet of the cross. 

Then like a tree planted by streams of living water- sink your roots deep, lift your limbs to heaven and drink in the light of God’s loving grace. 

Fresh fruit is best. 

Don’t settle for less- you don’t have to live that way. 

Wisdom Needed

  

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)

Why ask?

Because you need an answer you don’t have. Because you need a solution you can’t see. Because you need help.

Because until this very moment you didn’t know what to ask for. Now that the challenge is upon you, it is time to ask for God’s wisdom to go through it.

Why wisdom?

Because you need wisdom more than you need knowledge. You know stuff, you know things, you need the wisdom to know what to do with what you know.

Why generously?

Because you feel like you are asking too much and for too much.

But you are not. Ask for all you need and as much as you need with no limits that it is too much. It is not too much for God.

God gives generously.

It will be given to you.

Ask for wisdom.

Then do something with what you get.

Put it into action and ask again.

Put Some Clothes On

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Some spiritual clothes, I mean, the kind your attitude lives in.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭12‬ NIV)

I am sure when you got up this morning that you put clothes on. You most likely looked at the weather and maybe grabbed a light coat on your way out.

Everyday you also get the to chose your attitude.

God has provided the ultimate attitude closest stocked with the best quality virtues made of the finest character fabrics. It has the words “chosen” and “dearly loved” on the doors. It has been provided for you to plunder.

In it, you will find every attitude you might need today: practical compassion, unqualified kindness, humble service, undeserved gentleness and supernatural patience.

You are going to need it. It is there for you to take, put on and live in all day long.

Getting dressed in the morning doesn’t happen by accident. Neither does walking in a godly attitude.

It happens on purpose.

Choose this day the attitude you will put on and live in.

You Are Worth It

The jail cell of bondage is still a cell of bondage no matter how pretty you make it. God bought your release from it and continues to call you to freedom in every area of your life that needs it.

Why does he do it? Why doesn’t he give up on us? It is because he loves you unconditionally and created you to live everyday with overwhelming love, deep joy, persistent peace, solid patience, thoughtful kindness, soul deep goodness, stubborn faithfulness, grace filled gentleness and Spirit inspired self control.

What a life! Can you imagine it?

It is possible with God. By asking him to fill you, show you, empower you. This is what your life is meant to be.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22, 23 NLT)

Wherever these things are missing is an opportunity for God to work in you and an opportunity for you to grow.

Because you are worth it.

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