Today

I wanted to remind you that today hasn’t happened yet.
It is a day yet to be lived.
It is a page in your story that is unwritten.

Just because your story has been going one way up until today, doesn’t mean it has to continue that way.

Just because you made a bad decision yesterday, doesn’t mean you have to make one today…or tomorrow.
Just because you are in a habit that is unhealthy yesterday, doesn’t mean you have to repeat it today.

You have the freedom of choice and you have the power to change.

Today is unwritten.
God has a plan.
You have the pen.

Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.  Philippians 4:13 MSG

The Great I Am

When Moses asked who was sending him back to Egypt at the burning bush in Exodus, God said, tell them “I Am” is sending you.

When Jesus was standing before the Pharisees in the temple, He said: “before Abraham was, I Am” and it was the Greek equivalent to the name given to the Voice from the burning bush.

This Holy, powerful name of Almighty God embodies who He is:
1. Always Existing
2. Independently Existing
3. The “Becoming One”

Life may be surprising you right now.

Your reality may not be matching up with your expectations. Jesus knows where you are and what you are dealing with. He is not surprised.

Jesus will meet you right in the middle of your unexpected chaos and equip you to navigate through it because He is the becoming one. He can and will become what you need:

When you are hungry:
“I am the bread of life.”
John 6:48 NIV

When you are in darkness:
“I am the light of the world.”
John 9:5 NIV

When you are lost and defenseless:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 NIV

When you are exhausted:
“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”  Psalm 118:14 NIV

Rest in Jesus. Rest in his love. Trust in his plan. Let the storm rage all around you as you stay safe in the eye of it.

He is what you need today and will empower you to become what you need to be today.

What do you need from Jesus today?

Forgiveness

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“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.”

Matthew 6:12 MSG

Right with God, right with others.
Taking stock, taking responsibility.
Receiving grace, giving grace.
Living forgiven, living forgiving.
Everyday.
Jesus said to pray like this so that you could live like this.
Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that life brings you.
What do you need to ask forgiveness for today?
What do you need to forgive someone for today?

Take the Plunge

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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.  The facts being that human effort can not achieve the fulfillment of God’s promise. 

That thing that God has called you to? You can’t make it happen. You never could.

Once you really grasp this your faith is set free to rest in God alone.

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

This sets you free to shift your focus from yourself and your works to God and His works.

It shifts from giving yourself the glory of “today, I did a good job” or depression of ”I totally missed it” to giving God all the glory for all He has done and will do, instead.

God chose you. 

God chose you to be a partner in the promise but the lion’s share of strength, inspiration, motivation, and miracle is all God’s.

Your part is to receive, rest, wait, and give glory to God.

Your part is to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. 

My friend, don’t tiptoe around God’s promises today, dive into them.  Take the plunge and live fully persuaded. 

Your Way

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“Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.”
Psalm 37:5  NKJV
Commit your way. 
Commit your path, your direction, your next step to God.
To commit is an action, not a choice.
When I commit to a diet, I’m making a decision (That I usually change when a piece of cake presents itself).
When I mail a letter, I’m taking action. I’m letting go. I’m trusting that the postman or woman will get it to where it needs to go.
You can’t mail a letter if you hold on to the edge of it.
To commit your way to the Lord is the same thing – you need to give your way to Him. You are putting the direction, the journey, the destination into His care. The word for commit here means to “roll away”. 
To the Lord.
Give your future to God.
Let God have it.
Pry your fingers off the fears you have for your future and give it to Jesus.
Lay down the cherished dreams of a perfect life and roll those over to Jesus as well. Your expectation of a perfect life without pain or heartache is not reality and doesn’t help you deal with it. Those expectations actually trip you up more than your fears do.
Let go.
Trust Jesus. 
Focus on your relationship with Jesus and let Jesus focus on your future.
And He shall bring it to pass.
The phrase in English “He shall bring it to pass” is actually just one word in Hebrew,      “asa”.  It means He shall assemble, accomplish, create, produce it. He shall attend to it, bring it about and ordain it. He will bring it to pass.
“And then finally, when you’ve gotten to the place where you can commit your life and the affairs of your life into God’s hands, then you have arrived at the place of that glorious resting in the Lord. ‘God, I’m just resting in You. Whatever comes, Lord. However. It’s in Your hands.”’
Chuck Smith
It is only when I commit my journey (and re-commit it hourly) to the Lord and trust Him to bring it to pass in my life that I am truly free to rest. I am free to discover delight. I am free to focus on doing good where I am instead of carrying the weight of the uncertainty of the unseen future on my shoulders and give it all to God.
I roll it over to Jesus and say, “Here, this is yours. You can take care of it.  I’m Yours and so is my future. Thank you that I don’t have to carry it, worry about it, fret and fight to make it happen. You already have a plan and a purpose for me. Help me to discover it step by step with You”.
How do you deal with an uncertain future?

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?

Do Not Fret

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“Do not fret”.     ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Not “fretting” is easier said than done.
The original Hebrew word here for fret is “charah” and  it means to kindle oneself with a spark of anxiety or worry, whip it up into an inner frenzy and feed it facts or wonderings until it is a voracious fire in your soul that burns long and hot like the oil fires in the desert.
The picture is one who burns until they are charred.
That is what fretting will do to you.
The King James Version says, “Fret not thyself” which reminds that no one can get me to fret but me.  I do it to myself. It’s not God or others that do it  – I do it.
Do not fret.
It is a command, not a suggestion.
It doesn’t help your situation or your heart. It doesn’t halt, change or stop things from happening. Fretting and incessant worrying steals your focus, burns up your energy and leaves you with a crispy attitude.
It is not your job. 
The rest of the verse tells us that it’s God’s job to deal with what other people are doing. He is good at it.  He knows what is happening. He sees what is going on. Let the Lord worry about what others do or don’t do.
Let God be God.
You do you. 
What is the best thing to do when a spark of fear ignites a frenzy of anxiety?
Douse it with the Word and have your favorite verse handy to pour all over it.
One of my favorites in the face of a good fret is:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The word “affliction” essentially means “pressure”.
My friend, when the pressure is on, spend your energy pursuing hope. Don’t quit when things get hard.  If you must work on something, work on keeping your heart open and filled with the wonder and expanse of God’s love. 
Center yourself in Christ.
Focus on God’s goodness instead of other people’s choices.
Fix your eyes on Jesus and do what he has given you to do today.
Do. Not. Fret.