The Give and Take

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“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  

2 Peter 1:2-3

All relationships have to be give and take in order to be healthy.  It has to go two ways because you are not in a fandom but a relationship.

This includes your relationship with God.

Your “give” to God: to journey with Him and hold nothing back.

So what is your “take”?

Your “take” is to partake of God’s promises, dwell in His presence and walk in His power in every area of your life. 

This taking is not a selfish act, it is a trusting one.

It is possessing the land, pursuing the promise and wholeheartedly going after your purpose.

How is your relationship with Jesus today?

What do you need to recieve from Him?

What is He asking you to give?

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. 

Try

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Being in a relationship with God has challenged me to do things I thought I never would do. It has expanded the borders of what I thought was possible in my life. It also has taught me to not hold on too tightly to my plans and to hold them all gently before Him.

Some ventures have worked, some have not.

My journey with Jesus has emboldened me to try and trust and risk.

I have also failed and fallen flat on my face.

But here is the thing –  God has used each one to do a deep work in me through each one of them.

The wonderful thing about being in a relationship with God is that while our plans don’t always work out, God always works His purpose through them no matter the outcome.

This life is not about doing all the right things, it is about letting Jesus grow the right things in you. God’s purpose is to have a relationship with you and grow you into who He created you to be.

“We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but GOD ’s purpose prevails.” ‭Proverbs‬ ‭19‬:‭21‬ MSG

My friend, go ahead and take the risk, bite off more than you can chew and dream big all the while knowing that you are safe in the hands of Jesus as He works His purpose in you through it all whether in success or failure.

Have a fear-free, try and fail or succeed day in Christ.

 

 

 

#reasons

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For joy.

For the restoration of mankind to God.

For the intimate relationship with you.

That is why Jesus went to the cross.

“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭MSG

He began and finished this race – this faith journey of trusting God while dealing with the reality of a broken life in a broken world.

Jesus entered this brokenness, was broken in it and then rose again to offer hope and wholeness to the world. He didn’t lose sight of God’s future, He focused on it. He focused on you.

Jesus knew that going to the cross would restore mankind to a right relationship with God. He is your Advocate, He sees your future and has the authority to give you what you need to get to it.

When you are overwhelmed and the difficulty before you begins to weigh you down – fix your eyes on Jesus.

He went through the unimaginable so that He could get you through the impossible. You were His reason so He could be yours.

 

 

Forget It.

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The longer you walk with God, the more you realize how much you need Him.

How much you can’t do it by yourself.

How much you still have to learn.

The first time I heard this was just months after I began walking with God. My college pastor described it like how it is when you are walking towards a bright light- the closer you get, the more you see your own flaws.

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

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.
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

Why does Paul say “forgetting what is behind”?

I think because 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 child. 

One Thing

In our multi-tasking mounting pressure culture to juggle your life AND plan your future well, there is a prayer whispered from the heart of a king that reveals to us the secret of the One Thing.

He was the former bear wrestler, lion chaser, singing sheep keeper that faced the giant and beheaded him. This king who was the warrior worshipper prayed for this:

“I’m asking GOD for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long.

I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.”

Psalm 27:4-5 MSG

It is the secret that David shouted out and the source that fueled his life.

He knew that ONE THING was needed above all others: to live WITH God every day. To enjoy Him, learn from Him and have a safe house to escape to when the world goes nuts.

David lived in the palace but longed for the Temple.

The ONE THING thing David longed for is the very thing Jesus experienced and prayed for you to experience:

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

John 17:22-23 NIV

Jesus prayed for you to experience this kind of relationship with God everyday, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Enjoy God.

May your day be filled first with this one thing and may all the rest of life be impacted by it.

It’s Not About Looks

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It is all about relationship.

Not religion.

His birth, every breath, every step, every person Jesus talked to, touched, healed and gave hope to was about relationship.

Restoring it.

Reconciling it.

Renewing your relationship with God.

It is the same today.

Jesus has made himself available to you every moment of every day not so that He can control you but so He can love you.

So he can restore and renew you.

Jesus is a gift to be opened and experienced every day.

Merry Christmas Aftermath, my friend.