Right Now

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Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, God’s love cuts right through the business of life and breathes into you the very heart of it- His heart, His LIFE.

God’s love for you is for right now. Not later. Now.

“For right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:

Trust steadily in God,
hope unswervingly,
love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 MSG

Don’t wait for tomorrow to trust.
Trust today.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to hope.
Hope today.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to love.
Love today.

Steadily.

Unswervingly.

Extravagantly.

Right now.

Ready To Bear Fruit

Last week this pic got uploaded but the words did not so today I’m giving you the words. I know someone needs to hear this today: 

    
As we drove down to Southern California last week, we passed vineyard after vineyard. 

After about the third one, I thought, “they look ready to bear fruit”.

Why?

Because they had been pruned back, braced up and almost stripped bare. 

That is what Jesus said happens in the life of believer. Not just once but over and over.  When God wants to grow you, he prunes you

Over the years of driving down to Disneyland with my family and driving by countless vineyards, I’ve seen them in all the seasons:

Full and heavy with fruit in the summer.

Rioting wild with leaves after the harvest in the fall.

Barren and unkempt in the winter. 

Pruned back, braced up and almost stripped bare in the spring. 

The most fruitful vines are those that are cared for and pruned down. 

You may not equate being pruned with being cared for but the best of vine dressers do. They lovingly and with ruthless care get the vineyard ready to bear fruit.  They cut all the dead branches off. The dead leaves that have fallen to the ground are swept up and cleared out. The main branch that grows up from the vine is stripped down and simplified. They have braced up each one with wood or wire so that it will not break under the weight of its fruit later in the season. 

Jesus called himself the vine, you the branch and the Father the vine dresser: 

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:1-2‬ ‭NIV

If you feel like God is doing a clearing work in you, it is because He is preparing you.

He is getting you ready to bear more fruit.

He is caring for you and nurturing you.

He is cutting off dead things that will rot and bring disease to your soul.

He is simplifying your focus and prompting you to define more clearly who you are in Christ.

He is pruning you, even to cutting off some good branches that are stealing nutrients from the main one He wants to grow. 

Don’t panic because if you are being pruned, stripped bare and braced up.

Recognize it for what it is- God preparing you for the next season of your life.

It’s going to be good, my friend, so hold on and trust God.

‭‭ 

Quiet Down 

  
Sometimes God will use a situation where jealousy and envy rise up to sabotage your good day to work that very thing out of your life.

He can’t address it until it comes to the surface.

The heart that burns and the eyes the sting.

The thoughts that come unbidden and unwanted: 

“this isn’t fair”, 

“why not me?”

“who do I try?”

The discouragement that overwhelms your system and threatens to shut it down. 

“Quiet down before GOD, be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:7‬ ‭MSG‬‬

This verse isn’t a command to stuff it down but rather pour it out in your prayer closet before God until there is nothing left. Until you have nothing left to say. Until you can see the lies separate from the truth and hear Your Father’s voice come through.

You live in a world of people and it is impossible to ignore them. You were made to interact with them and have healthy relationships with them. It is difficult to have healthy relationships with others when you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself. Envy is an emotion and it isn’t good or bad.  It is an indicator, a gage of something that needs attention. What you do with that emotion and how you process it is what matters.

Your inner life impacts your outside life in every way. What fills your heart, mind and spirit matters.

Take time before God to honestly pour out what is going on inside of you and ask Him show you what the emotion is indicating. What is the belief behind it? Does it line up with His Word? 

When the emotion of jealousy or envy rise up like a fire consuming you, take your eyes off “them” (whoever triggered it) and find a safe place to get before Jesus. Pour it all out, this really isn’t about them but about you. Get to the place where you can quiet down and listen. To be silent and receive. To not worry or fret over others lives but fully trust God with your own. 

Don’t fret, trust. 

Working It Out

  

God is working it out.

He is working on the things in your life that you know about and the things you don’t.

He is using the situations in your life that you are sure will crush you, to mold you into who are being recreated to be.

And those things that seem so opposite from what you think you need, those people who are challenging you to your core – God is using them to create in you something good.

“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose”, (Romans 8:28 NET)

The Greek word used for “work together” is the one we get the word “synergy” from. Synergy is “the working together of two things to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.”

When God is added to any one thing in your life, He is able to produce something good out of it.

The above verse doesn’t say “all things are good”,it says “all things work together for good“.

You don’t have to figure out how. You just need to focus on loving God and letting Him work.

Whatever you are worried about, invite God in and allow His divine synergy to work in it and work it out for His glory.

Uncomfortable Obedience 

  

All obedience is uncomfortable.
It will always challenge your comfort zones and ask you to do something new.

Obedience is a gift of trust.

When I ask my children to obey me, I am asking them to trust my love for them. I don’t ask it as a test, I ask them to follow my directions because I want the best for them.

“God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me— my whole life one long, obedient response.” (Psalm 119:33-40 MSG)

What do we need insight into? We need insight into God heart.

When I see God’s heart for me and all he has gone through to reach me (the cross and beyond), I realize that obedience is the gateway to prosperity and freedom. I realize he is asking me to trust him because he loves me.

Obedience is uncomfortable but it is the very best kindly uncomfortable – the kind that makes you grow.

If you have been praying for God to grow you, don’t be surprised when he asks you to do something that is outside of your comfort zones.

You don’t obey because it is comfortable, you obey because you trust God.

God is good.
Trust Him and take the leap.

Get On With It

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Trust God and get on with it.

Get moving. You have stuff to do. You have GOOD stuff to do and the world around you needs you to do the good stuff you are supposed to do. God has good things for you to deposit in others today and you can’t do that if your consumed with worry or anxiety.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. (Psalm 37:3 NIV)

Trusting God is like “letting go of the envelope”. Years ago I read a story about a man who wanted to mail a letter to someone he wanted to reconcile with. But every time he went to the mail box, he couldn’t let it go. So he carried it around with him every day. And every day, he went to the mail box and held onto the corner of it and just couldn’t let it go. Finally his wife said, “Your gonna have to trust that the postman will get it there- and it will never get there if you don’t let it go”.

It is difficult to trust God and hold on to fear at the same time. Let it go, give it to God and get busy doing something other than thinking about what your afraid of all the time. Do something for someone else.
Clean, organize or start a new project.
Ask God for direction. He knows why he put you here and it isn’t to spend all your time worrying.

Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed. (Psalm 37:3 AMP)

At the End of My Rope

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“Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (Matthew 5:2-3 MSG)

My rope:
• My strength
• My self-sufficiency
• My independence
• My resources

When I run out of rope:
• I panic
• I am afraid
• I realize that my rope was an illusion
• I feel helpless

When I realize I have nothing:
• I’m open to God’s everything
• I ask for His help
• I receive His strength
• I am free from the fear that I will run out of rope because I’m not holding onto it anymore, I’m holding onto God himself.

Blessed beyond belief are those who wake up in the morning realizing that they have nothing to begin with for they are open to receive all that God has for them.

Joy-filled are those who let go of the illusion of a rope (control) and land in the arms of God.

Content are those who look not to the kingdom of the earth to meet their needs but look to the kingdom of God to fulfill them over and above what they could ask or imagine.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”(Matthew 5:3 NIV)