Why Jesus Did It

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For joy.

For the restoration of mankind to God.

For an intimate relationship with you.

For love.

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 it 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.

How To Break the Power of the Past

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The best way to break the power of the past is to forgive.

Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a choice. A choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them. Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them. 

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice.

And every day after, continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  

Colossians 3:13 NIV

Forgiveness is not about trust, it is about freedom.

What is keeping you from forgiving them?

What are you afraid of?

What does Jesus say about it?

Mundane Moments

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Some of the best moments of worshipping God is the smallest of them – the mundane moments in your day.

When given to Jesus, they are offerings of thanksgiving in the unseen simplicity of your daily life.

Little altars of normal and boring and non-important that are precious gifts to the in-the-moment relationship-building God.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Don’t get caught up in the world’s view of important and busy.

God’s definition of important is a daily relationship with you.

You.

When you make the small moments of your everyday endeavors an offering to God, you will discover that having abundant life in Christ isn’t about doing big things for Him but worshipping Him in the small things you do every day.

May today’s mundane moments and unseen duties be filled with sweet worship and small offerings of fellowship with your very present God.

Little White Lies

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Little white lies.

Big unsaid truths.

Smoothing it over by telling someone what they want to hear.

Avoid confrontation at all costs so you won’t be rejected.

We rarely do these things because we don’t like someone, in fact, we do them the most for those we love.

Little white lies can slowly become the language of our relationships as well as we try to protect our most tender selves.

15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. ” Ephesians 4:15 NIV

“Liars hate their victims; flatterers sabotage trust.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭26:28‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Words are powerful and all deception, whether it is big or small, deteriorates relationships.

It doesn’t matter if it is a negative slur or positive flattery.

If the words you are speaking are not true, you are not really loving who you are speaking to. Deceptive words will cause ruin whether you want them to or not.

If you love someone, tell them the truth. It doesn’t have to be brutal or mean, but it does need to be spoken.

This isn’t a challenge to suddenly verbally vomit all your pent up, stuffed down and swallowed words on the ones you love. This is a loving reminder to examine your words and the state of your heart.

I want to encourage you to ask God to show you why you are stuffing, swallowing, avoiding and not speaking the truth.

Can I tell you the truth?  With all the love I have in my heart hear this: it probably has more to do with how you see yourself than how you see others.

When you discover why you are lying and unintentionally ruining your relationships, you will uncover a place that God wants to heal.

Jesus will give you the courage to boldly look at your underlying motives and begin to speak the truth in love.

Speak the truth in love.

Face the fear of being misunderstood.

Ask God to begin to heal the broken parts in you so that you can have healthy relationships with those around you. 

What You Don’t Need

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You don’t need more stuff.

More things will not bring satisfaction or peace.

More stuff will not make your relationships better.

Dealing with the daily conflicts that happen in your relationships will make your relationships better.

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”
Proverbs‬ ‭17:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Peace never comes by ignoring the conflict but only through dealing with it.

Don’t stuff your feelings, deal with them.

Push through the uncomfortable space of it.

Be brave and talk.

Speak the truth in love.

You can’t do it on your own – you need God.

The peace that will permeate in your home is the peace starts with you and God.

Get your heart right with God then deal with the hearts of those you love and live with.

Do the hard work of communicating all the way through so that you can enjoy the blessed moments of life when you are at peace with God and at peace with others.

You don’t need a luxurious environment to possess luxurious love.

Don’t be passive with love and don’t look to possessions to solve your problems for you.

Look to Jesus to give you what you need today to break through and possess peace in your most important relationships – those in your home.

Right In Front of You

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One of my favorite moments documented in Jesus’ life is in Mark 10:22.

”Jesus looked at him and loved him.”

Jesus saw the man who was right in front of him and loved him Before the man obeyed or disobeyed – Jesus loved him for who he was right at that moment regardless of the outcome of their relationship.

That is how God loves.

Jesus loves you that way and He wants to love others that way.

My friend, you are not where you are by mistake.

You are loved by the God who created you and wrapped you in His amazing embrace.

There are things that only you can do.

There are people in your life that only you can love and touch today.

The circle of your influence begins at your fingertips – those within your grasp today.

You are where you are for a reason that has more to do with who you are here to love than what you are here to accomplish.

Who has God put right in front of you today?

How are you going to love them?

People Need You

And you need people.
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You are created to be in relationships.

However, relationships are not easy and because of humans, they are endlessly complicated.

They take grace, forgiveness, honesty, and courage.
You may think that it would be easier and simpler to withdraw altogether but God created you to be connected.
Don’t cheat yourself or others by withdrawing in fear.
Persevere.
Quiet the fear-filled beat of your heart and listen for the encouraging whisper of the Holy Spirit.
God can make a way where there seems to be no way.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Be brave and reach out today.