Action Steps

Wednesday

I want to remind you to that all you need to do today is take a step.

Just one.

Trust God and do what He is asking you to do.

You can trust Him.

Make the call,
Say the words,
Reach out,
Run ahead,
Or slow down.

Do it before you see results,
without assurance of success,
and not knowing where it will take you.

It is a step of faith.

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

James‬ ‭2‬:‭17‬ NIV

If you are reading this, you are not dead. Neither is your faith.
Put it into action.

What next step do you need to take today?

What Defines You.

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“He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”    

Romans‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭MSG

There comes a point in life that your faith becomes stronger by facing the facts, not weaker.

The facts may not be friendly or encouraging or what you want to face but as a child of God, you can face them. You can deal with reality instead of running from it.

How? By knowing that your circumstances do not define you, God does.

God chose you. 

God loves you.

That thing that God has called you to? You can’t make it happen but He can.

To be who God has created you to be you are going to have to let go of  “doing your best” and embrace “depending on God”.

You new life in God’s family isn’t “success and failure” based.

It isn’t “today, I did a good job”  so I’m feeling good or “I totally messed up ” and being depressed.

You will do a good job. You will make mistakes. This is not about denying how you feel. It is about allowing God’s feelings for you to be the foundation of how you experience your life.

His part is to guide and provide, your part is to follow and trust.

In Jesus, you have full rights as a child of God to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. 

He is able.

What are you asking for?

What are you imagining?

What are you trusting God in today?

Take a Risk

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My relationship with Jesus 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.

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

Some ventures have worked, some have not.

But here is the thing, Jesus has used every one of them to grow me. 

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 into 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 for your life is that through a relationship with Him, He will 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,  fail or succeed day in Christ.

Parking Places

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Parking places are meant to be a temporary place to stop, not a final destination – you do what you need to do and then get back on the road.

Friend, you are on a life journey with Jesus. Don’t get stuck at a rest stop. Don’t start living at the gas station. Don’t let a parking place become a permanent place.

Get moving.

Remember the reason you were called to this journey in the first place – Jesus has a plan for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Don’t get distracted.

Don’t settle.

Jesus has new places for you see, new people to meet and new opportunities to glorify God.

Rest stops are important but aren’t meant to be permanent.

Get back on your road.

What has gotten you off track on your journey with Jesus? 


What do you need to do today to get back on the road for the calling God has placed on your life?

Get Moving. 

Someone out there needs you.

Unless

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“Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭127:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You can rise early with worry and go to bed exhausted.

You can carry the weight of the work you do, the life you live and carry it squarely on your own shoulders.

The more you do, the more that must be done. The more you succeed, the more you must succeed. The best you did last week pales in comparison with the best you must do this week to keep your head above the water of whatever sea you are sinking in.

“Unless the Lord builds the house….”

Unless the Lord builds the marriage, the ministry, the job, the life….

How does God do this?

A better question is “How can I stop building my own kingdom and allow God to build His through me?”

For me, the answer involves surrender, obedience, getting out of the way and asking God to show me a new way to build. A new way to live. A new way to love. A new way to lead. Not the world’s way, not the ways I know from experience but His.

I ask Jesus every day to show me the why, the how and the way He builds lives, the way He loves and the way He leads.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭MSG‬‬

May you get out of your own way today.

May you surrender your “this is the way I’ve always done it” for “Jesus show me a new way”.

May you obey and put into practice whatever God shows you.

May today be the day that you love a little bit more like Jesus, lead a little bit more like Jesus and rest a lot more in His grace as you do it.

Take It

You will never feel more alive than when you take a step of faith.

When you make the call,
Say the words,
Reach out,
Run ahead,
Or slow down.

You do it before you see results,
without assurance of success,
and not knowing where it will take you.

It is a step of faith.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James‬ ‭2‬:‭17‬ NIV

The reverse is true as well- every time you let an opportunity pass to put your faith into action, it dies a little bit.

If you are reading this, you are not dead. Neither is your faith.
Put it into action.

How is your faith?

What step of obedience do you need to take today?

Daily Routine

Make praise a part of your daily routine.

Wash your face.

Brush your teeth.

Praise the Lord.

Praise automatically resets your perspective as you raise your eyes to see God move in the world around you.

Train your heart to see the reasons and the whys.

Train your eyes to see how God loves, provides and guides.

“Good-hearted people, make praise your habit.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭64:9-10‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What are you praising the Lord for today?

Faithful

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But the fruit of the Spirit is …faithfulness, (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭22‬ NIV)

God has called you to be faithful.

To follow through.

To keep His Word.

The hardest part of a commitment isn’t the beginning, it is the middle. The mundane day to day of living your faith in more small ways than big ones.

To keep doing the little things that seem small in the short run but are monumental in the long run.

It is easy to let the small things fall away when life looms large and hectic.

What small thing has God asked you to do?

Faithfulness is the fruit of the Spirit-
when God gives you something to be faithful with, He also gives you the Source of strength to do it.

Stop worrying about being successful and focus on being faithful.

Keep Moving Forward

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For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (‭2 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭8‬ NIV)

The purpose of your life is not become successful.

It isn’t to become the best version of you.

It isn’t to do that one thing that only you can do.

The purpose of your life is to know God.

When you focus on discovering who God is, He will challenge you:

to have faith,
be good,
learn more,
practice self control,
keep moving forward,
worship wholeheartedly,
love others like they are family,
and experience first hand God’s agape love.

Stop worrying about all the things you are failing at and simply focus on filling your life with God.

Abundant life is a God-filled life, not a me- filled one.

What will you discover about Him today?

Getting Ahead

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It has been too long since I posted a blog. I have certainly fallen out of the rhythm of it and woke up early missing the words. So here are a few for you (and for me).

“Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” (Mark 4:24, 25 MSG)

It is so easy to slip into an “Americanized” version of the abundant life through Christ. We can mistake our own personal definition of success with “abundant life”. We assume that growing in God also means that He will give us everything we want. But then He would be like an over- indulging parent instead of a loving Father. No one likes a spoiled brat, not even the brat.

Getting everything you want doesn’t equal happiness.

Giving everything you want actually does.

Pastor Tommy Barnett preached a sermon back when I was in Bible School where he spoke of planting the kind of seeds you want to harvest in your life. He said,“What do need most? Do that for someone else, plant a seed.”

What do you need most today?

How can you provide it for someone else- give it away?

What seeds of joy can you sow today?