Why Jesus Did It

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For joy.

For the restoration of mankind to God.

For an intimate relationship with you.

For love.

That is why Jesus went to the cross.

“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭MSG

He began and finished this race – this faith journey of trusting God while dealing with the reality of a broken life in a broken world.

Jesus entered this brokenness, was broken in it and then rose again to offer hope and wholeness to the world. He didn’t lose sight of God’s future, He focused on it. He focused on you.

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.

When you are overwhelmed and the difficulty before it begins to weigh you down – fix your eyes on Jesus.

He went through the unimaginable so that He could get you through the impossible. You were His reason so He could be yours.

A Small Touch

 

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Love never gives up”.
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4 MSG‬‬

So much can be communicated through a small touch.

A reassuring pat of the hand.

A hug.

A gentle tug on the elbow of someone who you want closer.

Holding a hand.

A small touch can make a bad thing okay, an okay thing good and make a good thing great.

Small touches are difference makers in a relationship, in a life.

They can be the first thing we unconsciously give and the first thing that we unconsciously withhold.

When we struggle, we when are angry, when we are hurt, we withhold the small touches.

It’s easy to forget how important they are to us and to those we love.

A small touch may make a difference.

What small touch do you need to give?

Who needs it?

What is holding you back from giving it and whatever that is – is it more important than the relationship?

The Imperfect Now

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“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
I was talking to a friend of mine and asking her how she was doing.  She said, “Better, because I’ve stopped asking God to change others or to change the circumstances and have started to ask God to change me. And it’s the first time I’ve had peace this year. He is changing me and I am so thankful.”
If you wait until your life is perfect to be thankful, you’ll be waiting until you get to heaven.

When is it the right time to be thankful?

Right now.
When is it the right time to shift your focus from what God should be doing “out there” to what God wants to do “in here” (points to self)?
This minute.
Don’t wait one more second.
Be thankful in the imperfect now.
Be thankful for the imperfect you.
Jesus is.
He loves you as you are today and He will work with you to grow you into who He created you to be.
Jesus is using your imperfect life and imperfect self to do a beautiful perfect redeeming work in you.
Let Him.
May you let go of all you can’t control today and give yourself permission to enjoy the imperfect now, embrace your imperfect story and lift your soul up to your perfect, loving, amazing, forgiving, life-giving God.

The Battle

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The battle is not to be good, or look good or feel good.

The battle is not achieving a version of life that you have imagined, been told or been sold.

There is a war that is waging and it is more than just between you and your expectations.

The battle is for souls: lost souls, happy souls, good looking souls, sad souls. Unredeemed souls that the enemy would like to keep unredeemed at all costs.

Unredeemed souls that have already been paid for by the great cost of Christ’s on the cross, they just don’t know it yet.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. ”
2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ NIV

For those who are redeemed, the battle is set to destroy your light, bit by bit, by turning the focus from God to what you don’t have, what you used to have or what you wished you had.

In other words, to keep the focus all on yourself so you will be rendered useless and powerless as a warrior of the light.

“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”   ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭5‬ NIV

When was the last time you talked to someone about what God was doing in your life instead of what you are doing (or not doing ) in it?

The battle is fierce. When you recognize what the real battle is- you are able to really engage in it, instead of being a victim of it. God did not redeem you to be a victim.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”   ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬ NIV

He created you to be an image bearer, He redeemed you to be light revealer,
He has empowered you to be a cross-carrier and gospel bringer.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”   ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ NIV

How will you reveal God’s all-surpassing power in your life today?

You are Made New

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
You are a new creation in Christ.
This statement is not past tense. It doesn’t say you were a new creation the second you got saved and from that moment you have been getting old again.
No, the Word says you are a new creation. Present tense.
What does God want to do today? 
He wants to create a new thing in you:
A new mentality.
A new habit.
A new hope.
A new attitude.
A new love.
A new life.
You don’t have to be caught in the momentum of past habits or past regrets, past failures or past mistakes. The past is over. You don’t live there. You live here and now in Christ.
Let go of “what-ifs” and embrace the possibilities with Jesus in “what is”.
That doesn’t mean you’re perfect but that you are present and open to living new, now.
Are you caught in the doldrums of “what ifs”?
What does letting go of the past mean to you?
You are made new in Christ.
May you live fully in Christ today and discover the wonder of the new things He wants to do.

Chosen


There are other moments of rejection that give you soul scars. Moments that become memories that hide in the silence and shadows of your heart. They feed into the fears of “not worthy” and enable the core insecurities of “not enough”.

God’s Word brings light to the shadows and His voice to the silent places in your heart.

Jesus came to bring to completion the Word spoken in Isaiah:

“For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:9,10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus came to complete it,
to reclaim you,
to reconcile you to God,
he has chosen you,
pursued you,
paid for you,
cherishes you and
will not abandon you.

Whispers of rejection will remind you of past rejections. They will taint every relationship and interaction you have.

You fear rejection but Jesus came to empty that word of it’s crippling power.

He is the God who says to you:

I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”(NIV‬‬)

I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you. Don’t panic. I’m with you. ‭‭‬ ‭(MSG‬‬)

‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you;” (‭NKJV‬‬)

Jesus will whisper this truth to you everyday, in everyway He can until you will believe it, embrace it and live in it.

YOU ARE HIS.
YOU ARE CHOSEN.

Sorry for yelling at you but you haven’t been listening.

Listen and believe.

Reread if necessary.

Friday’s Faithfulness

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“The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” (Luke 16:10 NET)

Stay faithful in the small things.

Do what you do.

Don’t worry about others are doing.

Don’t wonder about where others are going.

Be faithful to what God has given you to do where you are.

Do your best.

Love faithfully.

Finish what you start.

It is the small things that build a good life.

Stay faithful.