Finished

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When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John‬ ‭19‬:‭30‬ NIV

After the unfair trial.

After the man’s judgment.

After the sentence to death.

After the unbelievable physical pain.

After the unbearable separation from the Father.

After receiving horrific judgment and sin of the world upon Himself.

Before His final breath.

“It is finished.”

My sin paid for.

My debt paid.

My forgiveness, offered.

My redemption, complete.

My relationship with God, possible.

Before you ever began, He finished it.

Judgment

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All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children”.

Matthew 27:25 

After Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed Judas, the disciples abandoned Him, Peter denied Him and He was brought before by Herod to be judged. Herod sent Him to Pilot but Pilot couldn’t find a reason for a death penalty. It came down to the people and the people demanded that Jesus be crucified and the murderer, Barabas, be released to them.

Unfair, unjust, unreasonable are just three words that come to mind but that is not what captivated me. What captivated my attention was the truth of the statement written in the account: “His blood be on us and on our children”.

He must have stood there marveling as He heard the crowd cry out for His death, knowing that He was going to bear the judgment physically, spiritually….literally, not only for them but for all mankind.

Now their cry has become mine: “His blood be on us and on our children”,  not the blood of judgment but the blood of forgiveness.

While Jesus was on the cross, He drank deep from the cup of God’s fury against sin so that you and I could drink deep of the cup of forgiveness. He took our judgment so we could be pardoned for all eternity. Thus is the gift of salvation!

Now their cry has become mine: “His blood be on us and on our children”,  not the blood of judgment but the blood of His amazing love and forgiveness. It was the strength of His love for us that drove Him to become the sacrifice for us.

If you don’t know how much Jesus loves you, look at the cross – the proof lies lifeless there.

 

 

Prayer is Precious

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Another precious thing we all have access to during this time is the invitation to pray.
Prayer that is undefined, unpracticed and unscripted.
Honest prayers, fearful prayers, desperate prayers, prayers too deep for words.
All kinds of prayers from all kinds of people in all kinds of situations.

“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.”

Psalm 10:17 NIV

You need to know that there is Someone who will hear you, listen to you, sit with you and encourage you. To give you wisdom and guidance. To remind you that you are cherished and loved. Someone who promised to never leave you without support (Hebrews 13:5).

Because of Jesus, you have access to a Father who loves you and listens to you. He knows what is happening, what will happen and what you will need to get through it.

He is available today to hear you out, listen to you, sit with you and encourage you. To give you wisdom and guidance. To remind you that you are cherished and loved today regardless of where you are and what you are facing.

We often look to the outcome of circumstances as proof that God is real and loves us. The proof was provided at the cross. There Jesus unlocked access for all who want it into the presence of the eternal God.

Whatever you are facing today, you are not alone and you can pray.

Pour out your heart to God.

 

Be Loved

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You are loved.

You are loved every day of your life and will be loved every day until your death and then beyond into eternity.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You Are Loved.

Because of the cross, nothing can separate from the love of your Heavenly Father and therefore nothing should separate you from it.

Not fear.

Not shame.

Not worry.

All of these were taken and paid for by Jesus so that you can live in the glorious freedom of being a cherished child of God.

So that you can experience your life like a child who feels safe and secure: explore, enjoy and play.

You have nothing to fear and nothing to prove.

So explore.

Enjoy.

Play.

Live loved today.

Faith Journey

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This faith journey with Jesus is just that, a faith journey.

It is not a fear journey.

Faith and fear are both ways to walk into the unknown and I have a secret to tell you – every new day is unknown. You don’t know what will happen. It could go as planned or go completely different. Sometimes better different, sometimes not so much.

Are you living today in faith or in fear?

Fear will hold you back, faith will release you forward.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore your fear or be in denial of it. I’m encouraging you to not let fear decide or dictate what you do or don’t do.

Going to the next level on your faith walk is trusting Jesus with all the unknowns and allowing Him full access and full authority in the places of your heart that are ruled by fear.

He will begin right where you are today and walk with you every day after to show you how.

What do you do with your fears? Take them to the cross.

“The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭NIV

It is a good thing to live your life through Christ, it is a better thing to let Christ live His life through you.

His agenda, your body.

His purposes, your gifts.

His love, your hands.

What fears are blinding your vision?

What do you need to take to the cross?

What are you trusting Jesus for today?

Today, surrender your fearful vision of what might happen and ask God to give you His faith-filled vision of what can happen through Him.

Living Forgiven

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“and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in His name to all nations”

Luke 24:47 MSG

There is no greater sense of purpose than accepting God’s power to make a 180-degree turn and change.

This doesn’t just happen once.

It isn’t reserved only for “the first time” you recognize you are in need of salvation but is a privileged right of every child of God, no matter how long (or how little) you have let Jesus love you.

It is the ONE thing that keeps your relationship with God thriving and alive- asking for forgiveness.

Get before God today and lay down all that is holding you back.

Every day.
Once a week.
Once a month.
Once a year.
Whatever it takes.

The more the better.

One of the reasons I need to go away by myself for a couple of days a year.  I have learned that I need the time and space to search my heart, to be real before God, to mourn my own weaknesses, to own my mistakes and get the neglected areas of my heart right with God.

Be brave.

I love the quote that says “if you don’t like where you are at, change it. You are not a tree”.

No, you are not a tree, in Christ, you are a child of God.

What do you need to lay down before the cross?

How is your heart? It is cluttered and clogged?

When was the last time you made time to spend time with God and ask Him to cleanse your soul?

Now is a good time.

A Seed

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“I tell you the truth unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.

Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.”

‭‭John‬ ‭12:24-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A seed is a small packet of untapped life that will stay small with unknown potential until it is buried in the dark earth, crushed by the weight and broken open. Only then does the life within it break free to grow into what it was originally intended to become.

We try to hold it all together and hold on to our lives so fiercely when the very best thing is to let it go.

Let it change.

Let God have it all to do with as He wants.

We try to avoid situations that crush us but God will use those very things to unlock the amazing potential that He has put there. He will use it to loosen our grip on this life and show us that there is so much more of it than we can imagine.

Seeds are better when they are planted, crushed, broken and nourished to grow.

So are we.

It goes against what we think of Christianity until you look at the cross.

Until you look at the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. His glory wrapped in flesh, his body broken and crushed by our sin, three days in the dark grave only to rise and change the course of history. To redeem humanity. You rescue the drowning and restore fallen mankind to God.

In our attempt to hold onto “our” lives, we may miss the great blessing of them. We may rob others of the impact Christ can have thru us because we want to live our life, our way.  Safe, secure, planned, ordered.

But the moment we give our lives to Christ and He becomes Lord, it changes. It is no longer our life but His. No longer our ways but His. Not safe, not secure, not planned but we are planted, crushed and broken. Then nourished to break through and become all Jesus has made us for.

 

This thing that is crushing you just may be God’s way of planting you right smack dab in the middle of His plan for your life.

Let go of your plans and hold fiercely to His love.

The very best is yet to come.

Have an amazing Monday my friend.

Be Loved

You are loved.

You are loved every day of your life and will be loved every day until your death and then beyond into eternity.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You Are Loved.

Because of the cross, nothing can separate from the love of your Heavenly Father and therefore nothing should separate you from it.

Not fear.

Not shame.

Not worry.

All of these were taken and paid for by Jesus so that you can live in the glorious freedom of being a cherished child of God.

So that you can experience your life like a child who feels safe and secure: explore, enjoy and play.

You have nothing to fear and nothing to prove.

So explore.

Enjoy.

Play.

Beloved, live loved today.

Look Past It

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For the joy.

For the restoration of mankind to God.

For the intimate relationship with you.

That is why Jesus went to the cross.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, as an advocate and as the authority.

He didn’t lose sight of the future, he focused on it.

It is easy to be overwhelmed when you are in pain and let the difficulty before you fill your vision. You begin to anticipate the pain of the situation bleeding into your tomorrows but that is the exact moment that you need to see beyond it and refocus on the future.

Remind yourself of what is important. Face it with integrity, intention and invest your energy in the future past the trial.

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.

Room Enough

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God’s love is so expansive that there is room enough for you and room enough for every person you know. The cross does not have a limited space available sign on it. Jesus stretched out His arms for all. God has embraced you and placed you within the unearned luxury of His love.

“But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am.

And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste.”
1 Corinthians 15:10 MSG

Don’t let God’s grace go to waste.

Don’t let your insecurities dictate your obedience.

Don’t let fear hold you back from living and giving God’s love.

God has placed you where you are for such a time as this. Embrace it in grace. Engage in it with grace. Generously receive it and generously give it.

When you find yourself embraced in the center of God’a grace, you can’t help but reach out to those who don’t know that there is enough room in God’s love for them too.

Don’t waste a second.

Someone out there desperately needs to know it.