Getting Back to Basics

Whenever you feel lost and unsure of how to start up again, go back to the basics.
 
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.
 
2 Peter 1:5-9 MSG
 
Basic Faith – the first step, the abandoned sin, throwing of oneself upon the mercy of God and walking forward into the unseen with the belief that you are not alone to develop.
 
Good Character – staying true to what you believe in the little things and letting those small choices of integrity overflow into the big things as you grow.
 
Spiritual Understanding – the moments you can’t explain, but know are true.
 
Alert Discipline – not allowing time, tiredness, busyness, past baggage, old excuses erode right habits, receiving grace and energy from God.
 
Passionate Patience – being able to expectantly wait for one thing while wholehearted working for another. Choosing to focus on being obedient, not on the results of being obedient.
 
Reverent Wonder – the awe of seeing God with the wide eyes of a childlike heart.
 
Warm Friendliness – the smile, the hug, the gentle knowing atmosphere of those who are confidently walking in their purpose.
 
Generous Love – being able to love those closest to us without fear or conditional embraces and the ability to love those we barely know with an authenticity that only comes from intimately knowing God.
 
These are my own definitions of the list in 2 Peter 1:5. 
 
These are not a to-do list, this is a Jesus-help-me-be list.
 
May you find your way back to the basics and thrive by the grace of God in each one today.

Christmas Morning

“But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere!  For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah.  – Luke 2:10-11 TPT

I imagine that the morning after Jesus’ birth was quiet for Mary and Joseph.

I’m sure they were tired.

They probably didn’t sleep well.

How long did it take for the shepherds to find them?

Did they come before or after dawn?

What did Mary and Joseph think as the shepherds told them of the angels who couldn’t keep the news to themselves? What did they think of heaven’s declaration that a rescuer was born and he was the Lord Yahweh, Messiah?

I don’t know what your Christmas Morning has looked like today but I pray that hope steals it’s way into your heart like the light broken through the darkness when the multitude of angels burst into celebration the night Jesus was born.

Jesus came to bring you hope.

To love you, to know you, to save you, to heal you.

Today ask for His help when you need it.

Jesus will never run out of grace and mercy – He is the eternal supply.

Have an amazing and very Merry Christmas!

How You See

Perspective is powerful.

Jesus said how you see the world around you, impacts you:

“Your eyes are windows into your body.  If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”‭‭

Matthew‬ ‭6:22-23‬ ‭MSG‬‬

How you look at the world around you impacts how you experience the world within you.

Do you see the world and the people in it with wonder and delight or in fear and distrust?

Have you “pulled the blinds” and given up?

If so, you are in a dark place.

Jesus came for you.

He came to unleash heaven’s light and love in you.

He came to heal the hurts and tend the wounds that fester distrust and fear.

He came to restore wonder.

He came to restore you.

Wait For It.

Wednesday

But GOD’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

You can’t see what God is doing “behind the scenes” in your life but I know He is working.

You don’t know how He is going to meet your needs, but I know that He will.

You don’t have to worry about the whys or hows. You can rest in the truth that He knows them.

God is not finished with your life. He has more for you.

Jesus took all that separates God from you so that you can receive all He has for you.

I am praying that today you will experience God’s matchless, unbroken companionship while you wait. While you wonder what is going to happen. While you worry about the unknown future.

I am praying that you will experience His victory, favor, love, peace, and joy, while you wait.

I believe that God is preparing things for you right now and that they will be right on time (maybe not your time but in His time).

While you wait, trust.

While you trust, worship.

While you worship, rest.

Have an amazing day enjoying what you have while you wait for what God is preparing for you. 

Rapturous Joy

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It’s Christmas Eve.

No matter what your day looks like or feels like today or tomorrow, I pray for you to have a moment of rapturous joy as a redeemed child of God.

The great orator of a century past says it so beautifully:

We esteem every day alike, but still, as the season suggests thoughts of Jesus, let us joyfully remember our dear Redeemer’s glorious birth.

Who but He was ever longed for by such a multitude of hearts?

When did angels indulge in midnight songs, or did God hang a new star in the sky?

To whose, cradle did rich and poor make so willing a pilgrimage, and offer such hearty and unsought oblations?

Well, may earth rejoice; well may all men cease their labor to celebrate “the great birthday” of Jesus.

Let gladness rule the hour; let the holy song and sweet heart music accompany our soul in the raptures of joy.

– Charles Spurgeon

Love, hugs and many blessings from the Grasso’s this Christmas!

Daily Routine

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Make worshiping Jesus a part of your daily routine.

Wash your face.

Brush your teeth.

Worship Jesus.

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.    

Hebrews 12:28 NLT

When you worship, you open your heart to be filled with His unshakable kingdom. A kingdom not of this world that changes the world.
When you worship and see Jesus for who He is, you see the world around you through His eyes.
And you love more, hope more, give more.
Worship fills you with the wonder of heaven and an awe for the one who left it to rescue a lost world.
And when you are full of heaven, it overflows to the earth.
May you be so full of heaven today that it overflows in moments of awe on the mundane moments of your day and make them…heavenly.
You were made for this. 

Being Present in the Present.

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Stay on the path God has put you on.

Be present.

Stay focused on the main goal of this season.

Do what God has given you to do where you are.

Don’t worry about what others are doing or getting.

Don’t wonder where others are going or what others are giving.

Focus on what is important today.

Focus on why you are doing it.

“Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, ‘I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,’ we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?”  Hebrews 13:5-6 MSG

Jesus has promised to be with you and is ready to help you in every situation that presents itself to you.

Ask God for help and focus on being present in the present.  

Daily Routine

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Make worshiping Jesus a part of your daily routine.

Wash your face.

Brush your teeth.

Worship Jesus.

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.    

Hebrews 12:28 NLT

When you worship, you open your heart to be filled with His unshakable kingdom. A kingdom not of this world that changes the world.
When you worship and see Jesus for who He is, you see the world around you through His eyes.
And you love more, hope more, give more.
Worship fills you with the wonder of heaven and an awe for the one who left it to rescue a lost world.
And when you are full of heaven, it overflows to the earth.
May you be so full of heaven today that it overflows in moments of awe on the mundane moments of your day and make them…heavenly.
You were made for this. 

Trust, Dwell, Enjoy

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Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭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?

Stay, Do, Focus, Trust

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Turn my way, look kindly on me, as you always do to those who personally love you. Steady my steps with your Word of promise so nothing malign gets the better of me.

Psalm 119:129-136 MSG

Stay on the path God has put you on.

Stay focused on the main goal of this season.

Do what God has given you to do where you are.

Don’t worry about what others are doing.

Don’t wonder where others are going.

Focus on what is important today.

Focus on why you are doing it.

Trust God to finish what He has started in you (because He will).

Ask God to steady your step and walk forward with confidence.