I Will

I Will

Mark 14:37-38 (NLT)

Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

 

The thought has occurred to me that I would rather deal with what I cannot do than try to overcome not wanting to – my spirit is willing and my flesh is weak. I have found the barrier of stubbornness around my heart to be insurmountable sometimes. Submission does not come easy to people like me and is a daily struggle to maintain. I want to be obedient in all things, but that requires sacrifice of self that is difficult to make. I can put aside my wants and desires. When it comes to my family and close friends, I will even put my own basic needs second to them. However, I want to live a life completely surrendered to Jesus Christ which means that I must not give into the temptation to be unwilling when I don’t “want” to do something or allow human weakness to be my excuse. I really have no excuse.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

When I am weak, then I am strong through the Power of Christ hidden inside me. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13) Greater is He who lives in me then He that is in the world. (I John 4:4) We are more than conquerors through the love that He has given us. (Romans 8:37-38) Within these power verses of God’s Word, every excuse to fail or give up dissolves in the Glory of God invested in the lives of His People. We have the strength to overcome any and all adversity, trial and tribulation simply because God loves us and Jesus lives in us. So now what? Why do we not live from glory to glory as promised? Why can’t we see the good in every detail just as He promised? (Romans 8:28) Weakness does not stop us it is willingness that does. We are weak but have the Power of God to overcome our weaknesses. It is unwillingness to follow Christ beyond our ability and attitude that interrupts the blessing intended for our life.

Mark 1:40-42 (NLT)

A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”  Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.

The man with leprosy came to Jesus. I am sure many tried to keep him from the Lord due to his physical condition. But the man would not be stopped and knelt before the Lord… Stop right there. Hang on! There is something in this passage that I never noticed until now. The man came and knelt before Jesus… and then said, “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” He knelt before Jesus an act of surrender before He asked the Lord for a thing. Even in the midst of surrendering self, he told the Lord “if you are willing.” Jesus was moved with compassion. The Lord’s Heart is moved by our willingness. When we decide to surrender our life to Him even before He “does” anything for us, I believe it moves the Hand of God to action in that moment. The angel told Daniel that the “moment” he prayed that a command was released in Heaven. (Daniel 9:23) It is the moment that pride does not matter when we see the force of God’s Power manifested in our life. When “I” move out of the way to allow the “willingness” of God make its way into my life. Jesus said without hesitation, “I am willing. Be healed!” I wonder if in our weakness we allow unwillingness to hinder us sometimes as pride rises up to protect self. It is a natural instinct that can only be overcome by supernatural love.

Psalm 51:12 (NLT) Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.

 

There are a lot of things that I can do. There are also many things that I want to do. But it has taken half of my life to figure out that it is better to not do that thing at all then to do it begrudgingly. For example, I hate getting up early each day. I wake up around 5:00 AM but do not usually make it out of the bed until around 5:15 or 5:30 AM. I do it to spend time with the Lord before everyone else gets up. It is a time set aside to bask in the Presence of God. However, if I get up angry about getting up where is the blessing. If I am awful to my husband and the dogs on my way to my prayer closet, who wins? Where is the victory in making our life in Christ a chore, something we do because we have to? I would be better off staying in bed and sleeping it off. Willingness means to be cheerfully consenting, ready and inclined to do something. It is with a joyful spirit that I come to this place each day. On those days that it is s struggle it is not human weakness but stubborn willfulness that I must overcome to get here and get something in the Presence of my God.

Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT)

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

 

Every time that we overcome our flesh and give way to His Spirit living inside of us, God blesses our life. There is a reward for those who work willingly at everything they do as working unto the Lord. If you plastered the image of Jesus on every face you see today, would you do things differently? Would you treat those people around you differently? Would you work harder if it was for the Lord? The Lord rewards us with an inheritance we serve the world as if we are serving Jesus himself. Our willingness moves people and works in our favor. (I Peter 5:2) Our circumstances should not determine our willingness but our love for Jesus should promote willingness in our life.

James 3:17-18 (NLT)

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

 

Lord, make me willing to serve you in all things. Show me the areas of my life that are being hindered by my unwillingness and soften my heart to those things. Let the joy of my salvation rule my life and Your Love for me determine each outcome. I surrender my life to you again today and ask you to break my stony heart for the things that move your heart with such compassion. I want to love like you Lord and be willing just as you are to serve others. Thank you for the wisdom you give us in Your Word and by Your Spirit. Lord, let me be peace loving, gentle at all times and willing to yield to others in all things every day. Thank you for the peace that is planted in my life when I am willing to serve you! It is in your Name that I ask these things and know that they will be! Amen!

Too Comfortable

Too Comfortable

Proverbs 19:23 (NIV)

The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

 

Went to the doctor today for my annual visit. That was a big mistake. Don’t get me wrong I love my doctor. He has been my doctor for more than a decade. He and his wife are wonderful people but there are times when our visits become a wakeup call. Yesterday’s visit would be no exception. I knew that I had gained some weight. After months of a consistent exercise and a healthy diet, I had fallen off the wagon slightly. Okay, maybe a lot. But I had no idea how far I had fallen until the scale display resonated a fifteen-pound weight gain. What? I got off the darn thing and got right back on to make sure it was working. There had been severe thunderstorms that day perhaps it got struck by lightning. I really don’t remember much more of the visit as I continued to beat myself up for all the bad choices I had been making. Too tired or just plain lazy to work out. Eating what I wanted rather than what was good for me. I know, I know it’s just a number. How do I feel? Truthfully, deceived by my body if you must know the truth. I fell for my flesh like I do so many times in other ways. When we become too comfortable in life that complacency sneaks up on us.

As I approach the big five-o, my goal has been to live a healthier lifestyle. Over the past three years, I got pretty good at it. But then I decided one hamburger and some fries wouldn’t kill me. Reintroducing bread and fried food to my diet didn’t seem too harmful at the time. I rationalized that life is all about balance, right? Yes, it is. Everything is permissible but not everything we do in life is beneficial. Where is that verse anyway?

I Corinthians 10:23 (NLT)

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.

 

This verse means different things to different people. “I am allowed to do anything.” Do you believe that? Well, of course you are silly. Who the Son sets free is free indeed. There is God’s Perfect Will and Permissible Will. Those who want God’s Perfect Will take their life and align it with God’s Word. Not because they have to, but because they want to. They want God’s Perfect Will and will do whatever it takes to have it. Then there are other Christians who are perfectly happy with God’s Permissible Will. God has given you and I the freedom to decide how much or how little of Him that we want in our life. We can do anything but not everything we do is good for us. I am “allowed” to do anything, but everything I do does not benefit my life. I can eat hamburger and French fries every single day of my life for the rest of my life if I want to. I can add all the desserts and donuts I want to. I love donuts. Throw in some sweet tea, and buddy we are living the good life. Although freedom allows us to do anything, it doesn’t alter our destination or outcomes. You sow in the flesh there you will reap. Sow to the Spirit and ahhh things begin to change. It is all about discipline.

Hebrews 12:11-13 (NLT)

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

Discipline is never fun. It is not enjoyable. But it is absolutely necessary as we turn our lives completely over to God. We cannot do things the way that we have always done them and expect different results but people do it all the time. This is called insanity. You cannot sow in the flesh and reap in the Spirit simply because it is not logical. God is true to His Word. Live according to His Word – your outcomes will change. It is no different than me watching workout videos eating ice cream on the couch and thinking that I am making a healthier choice. Discipline requires movement. It is to accept change. It takes commitment because it is always contradictory to our flesh. I want a peaceful harvest of right living. Sometimes that means getting a grip and getting on my knees. I am not concerned with fifteen plus pounds as much as what it represents in my life. It means that I am lacking healthy discipline that I would like restored. My goal is better health. I must mark out a straight path for my feet and ask the Lord to help me on meet my goals.

There are some days as believers that we lack in discipline. There are times when we stop striving and pressing to coast along in God. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Sometimes it may even be called rest. But when we become too comfortable there is a thing called complacency that can soon take over. Complacency is to become pleased with oneself and our situation often without awareness of some potential danger or defect. It is a place of self-satisfaction. Maybe you have been there before. You have been running the race of faith so well that you decide you deserve a break but then that break becomes an indefinite delay. Suddenly, you find yourself slipping back into old ways that where of no real benefit in the first place. How did I get here? How do I get out? Discipline is the answer although not always a pleasant one.

Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

 

We must be very careful to know the difference between contentment and complacency in life. We must know what God says about our life and strive to maintain it. When we walk in His Ways, and live by His Word this is called discipline. Discipline thrives in obedience. It takes discipline to be obedient. There will be times when the Lord gives us rest and we will be comfortable. Enjoy these times as Jesus refuels, refreshes and renews your life. But be ready for the next step to come, don’t be complacent and decide that this is good enough God so I will stop here. To be healthy, I need to lose 15 pounds. The world would like me to go to the extreme which would equate to losing about 25 pounds. My goal physically is to be a healthy example for my children. Make good food choices and exercise regularly. Seems simple until it’s time to go to the gym or choose a salad over a greasy burger. Life with the Lord is the same way.

As believers, we must decide what we want out of this life. We decide the amount of God’s Presence that fills our space. If we want Jesus more than anything, it means not getting too comfortable as we learn to live in step with God. He is a moving and making God who is doing great things in our life every moment that we breathe. We must constantly make room for God’s Movement in us and through us. We can do anything! Freedom gives us this right. I choose to use my freedom today to let God be my strength, my helper, my provider, my healer and deliverer. I want Him to be my everything. This is going to require discipline and commitment on my part that I must be willing to give to have all of Him filling every facet of my life.

I Timothy 6:6 (NLT) Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.

Healthy Hesitation

Healthy Hesitation

Psalm 5:1-3 (NLT)

O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

 

Anticipation. Expectation. These are killer qualities in life. I do not like to wait but these two things produce waiting in my life on a regular basis. My family has a gene of hyperactivity that runs through it making us a jumpy bunch. Moving here and there. Trying this and that. Not really thinking sometimes just rushing in and doing. I am desperately trying to overcome this trait and learn to wait on the Lord in ALL things. Faith is not about testing God. It is the quality in us that believes Him explicitly and in every detail. It is not a test of strength or courage but an act of willingness that the Lord desires. It is total trust that God is taking care of every detail in our life. The only difference between waiting on the Lord and hesitation is the motivation of our heart. It is that moment of indecision when we must decide what we really want in this life. Do we want Jesus? Or do we want what the world has to offer? This choice is reflected even what we may think are the most insignificant details of life.

It’s funny that when it comes to our son’s health, I have trusted God completely from the beginning. No matter what quietly confident that God is in control of his body, mind and spirit. Did I have moments of fear and frustration? Of course it is not every day that your child appears to be on the verge of death or connected to more tubes and wires than you can count. But not once from diagnosis to remission with multiple relapses in between did I ever wonder if God had forsaken us. I share this because I think it is ironic that I struggle more with things in my day to day life than in that moment of life and death. When we have no other option but the Lord it is easy to find our place in His Presence. The world has nothing for us. But what if we learned to live there in every minor detail of our life as well. It would be life changing. It would be miraculous. It would be a prosperous existence beyond our imagination.

I have a decision weighing heavy on my heart. If I told you about it, you would probably brush it off as a life decision not a God decision. But I believe that the Lord wants all my requests to go through Him. I can do a lot of things. But He can do them all better than I ever could. I have received two confirmations from the Lord but still do not feel the “go” I need to know that He is finished in His Preparation of this thing that He is doing. But in my moment of hesitation, I had to pray. I needed to know if this is healthy hesitation or fearful restraint. It is hard to tell sometimes as we attempt to walk by faith and not by sight.

Psalm 37:5-7 (NLT)

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

In parenting, I have learned to focus on the majors and not worry about the minors. I pick and choose my battles more carefully with these younger two than the older ones. My eldest daughter often tells her younger sisters to thank her for breaking us in. We are reminded from the earliest age “not to sweat the small stuff” when in reality God cares about it all. “Commit EVEYRTHING you do to the Lord.” What if before we did a single thing in life, we prayed about it first? I mean right down to buying a cup of coffee on the way to work. What if we ran it all by Jesus before we did it? If we turned every decision that we made over to the Lord and listened for His Voice – our lives would change for the better. Such a commitment to prayer would be a powerhouse for our life. If we decided to live in His Presence and wait for His Peace in every situation – our life would be renewed moment by moment and we wouldn’t have to wait for a miracle. Why? We would live in the supernatural.

Daniel 9:22-23 (NLT)

He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.

 

When we commit our life to Jesus Christ moment by moment, praying every day and many times a day, we put our life in His Presence waiting for His Will and Way to be perfected. I love this verse in Daniel. Daniel was praying. The angel of the Lord came to Him with insight. Oh what insight! “The moment you began praying, a command was given.” Our prayers don’t “make” anything happen. They do not change the heart and mind of God in any way. Our prayers align us with the Will and Way of God opening the door to His Kingdom by faith. We think that we pray to God so He will do what we say. Please God don’t take my advice for my life. But when we decide to have faith that God’s Way is better and His Plan perfect, we begin to live in confident hope which is a place of healthy hesitation as we wait for the Lord. But if we do not know the Word of God and are unfamiliar with His Ways, we live in fear that what God is doing may not meet our expectation or satisfy our heart so we hold back parts of our life to do with as we may.

We are precious to God. It is in the revelation of God’s Profound Love for us that we come willingly and obediently into His Presence laying our life on the altar as to say, “Here Lord it’s yours please do something with it.” He does. Over and over again, it’s called His Glory. We live in His Glory when we commit every single detail our life to His Will and Way.

Romans 4:20-24 (NLT)

Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

 

Looking back over my life, I can see the times that I waited on the Lord until I thought I could wait no more and then tried to help Him out as it became “apparent” He somehow needed my assistance. (Written with a smirk) Those are the times I jumped the gun and took off when the Lord was telling me to wait on Him. To trust Him. To believe Him. I am in good company. Abraham believed God’s Promise. He never wavered. He, too, tried to help God in the process. Remember Hagar and Ishmael. We can be fully convinced in God’s Power and still mess up the process every now again. So don’t beat yourself up too bad, just put the bat down and stop beating yourself up. As long as there is breath in our body, God is not finished with us yet. We must become committed to waiting on the Lord motivated by our heart and not our head. His Promises are always better than our plan and natural ability to make a better life.

Hebrews 10:20-23 (NLT)

By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

Our youngest child has the privilege of two parents and four older siblings. There are times she embraces her position in our family and other times she feels the need to remind her brothers and sisters that they are “not the boss of her”. I was the oldest in birth order so I cannot relate to her position. But I can relate to the pressure she feels with everyone voicing their opinion and expectation over your life – it’s called adulthood. Your spouse has expectations. Your children have needs. Your boss gives directives. Just to get home there are signs telling you where to go, lights telling you when to move, and other people to watch out for because it is clear that are not watching out for you. So many considerations along the way that when it is time to make a decision – you just want some peace. After stopping and going from traffic light to light along the way, who hasn’t rushed through a yellow light just because you are tired of stopping and starting? Ready to get somewhere you bend the rules and accelerate through unaware of anything other than a need for some relief and desire to get somewhere.

These are the times of greatest danger to the believer. When the pressures of life cause us to make radical and random decisions without turning them over to Christ. We have the privilege of living in constant communion with Jesus Christ. We are privy to His Wisdom as we are given His Mind. We can have His Way in all things if we so choose. The only thing we must do is “hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm for God can be trusted to keep His Promise.”

2 Corinthians 1:18-20 (NLT)

As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.

 

If the Word of God is true, every single promise that God has for me is already an “amen” so the desire that He places in my heart has merit whatever it may be. God is faithful. I must be faithful, too. His Word says, “Yes” or “No” never maybe. We determine the course of our life by choosing life and death in each moment. I do believe that the God of the Universe cares about every decision that we make. I have three grown children who live independently. I want the very best for them in all things even though we live apart. How much more God feels this way about you and me? Considering the fact that He gave His Only Son Jesus Christ to secure our place in His Presence, it seems to be that everything about our life would be a “big deal” to Him. With such knowledge, I am challenged today to evaluate my waiting from a godly perspective. Am I waiting on the Lord? Or am I hesitating in fear? God knows the desires of my heart. He made the Way for me to have them. If I position myself at the feet of Jesus, I will never be disappointed again even in the most minute detail of my life. That is where I will wait and see what He has for me today and every day as I commit everything to Jesus! Lord, steady and secure me in Your Presence as I wait for You. When I hear you Lord, make me faithful and obedient to Your Word to do Your Will and have Your Way!

James 1:5-7 (NLT)

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Run with It

Run with It

I Corinthians 9:24-27 (MSG)

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.  I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

 

Imagine you are an Olympic athlete who has trained for track for your entire life. From a young boy or girl, you discovered running. You loved it. You were good at it. The high school coach saw your potential and talked to your parents who in turn enlisted the help of other coaches and mentors to make you faster and better than you were before. You won every race it seemed growing up with little effort. But even with all the medals and trophies, the one thing you desired most was an Olympic medal. Continuing to compete in college on full scholarship, of course, you are selected to attend a time trial which you quickly qualify and will represent the US team at the next world event. Your parents are proud. You feel accomplished. It is the big day you stand in a crowded stadium looking at the same layout you have for a decade of your life. It is time to take your mark. Your heart is beating. The crowd is cheering. Sweat beads on your brow in heavy expectation. The gun sounds and the other runners are off the block. Everyone except you – you don’t move but just hold your position. What happened? You had run every other race in your life flawlessly. Is this you today? Or is this me? God has planned for this day and prepared us for this moment but when He says, “Go!” We freeze. Where is our faith that seemed so sure and our hope that once was confident? We dissolve in disappointment. We missed it.

I have never seen an Olympic contestant not come off the line of a race, but I have seen them fall short of the glory that they were pursuing. Lolo Jones is indeed one of my favorite athletes. Her story is one of triumph over adversity and total perseverance. She has won races all over the world running. But despite attending the Olympics multiple times, she has never received one for running. Yet she does not quit or give up and keeps ending up in a starting block somewhere. She is a believer. She loves God. Where is her victory? I don’t know. But she keeps running for some reason.

Are you running to win today? Are you running for eternal gold? The hardest step sometimes if the first one. I want to run. It is not my strong suit. Although I do not have the time, talent or aspiration to be an Olympic runner – I have purposed in my heart to one day run/walk a mini marathon of some sort. It is a challenge in my heart. But I have to train to do so. I cannot just come on the scene expecting to finish the race. I must build up strength and endurance for this challenge. My life does not depend on whether or not I accomplish this goal. But there are things in my life that God has told me to do that do impact my future. Will I participate? Or will I just stand on the mark?

Habakkuk 2:1-3 (MSG)

What’s God going to say to my questions? I’m braced for the worst. I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon. I’ll wait to see what God says, how he’ll answer my complaint. And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

 

Vision is not our problem. Everyone has a dream. I believe that God puts these desires in our heart even if our flesh modifies them. When we begin to seek the Lord, He shows us things. Secret things. Hidden things. He encourages us to write them down. Prepare for them. Pray over them. Get ready. On your mark. Get set. He promises that it will come right on time but if we do not “go” when it is time – then what? Why wouldn’t we go after it? Are you kidding? I know what you are thinking – I have thought it, too. When I am waiting on God and He opens the door for someone else, we think “what are you waiting for”. Change requires a step of faith for human beings. We are not comfortable in change. God seldom opens a door completely at first. He opens it a little and we must step through to see His Plan unfolding. We do not understand God’s Way even though it always the best way.

For someone today, it is time to run. The waiting is over. The vision is clear. The way is plain. Now you just have to go for it! What will it take to get you moving? Change is uncomfortable but will you do it for God. Is the prize He offers worth having enough to “take a four foot step on a five foot limb” as one of my favorite pastor says? It is but until we believe it is – we will not leave the mark.

Psalm 19:7-9 (MSG)
The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.

 

Before we take off, there must be confidence in God’s Direction for our life. This is something we must obtain daily in our walk with Him along with those new mercies that He leaves for us. We need to fully believe without reservation that it is God who gives us revelation that is whole and pulls our lives together from the fragments we make it to the beautiful depiction written before our birth. God makes all things work together for those who love and trust Him. (Romans 8:28) He perfects our way. (Psalm 138:8) This is the primary catapult that gets us off the starting line to running the race. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) There is no other way to have the Promises of God for our life. He is the dream giver and fulfiller.

GPS tracking is a modern day wonder but it is not always correct. There have been instances when my instinct told me to look again or recalculate because something seemed off and it was. Nothing in life is flawless…except God and His Word. We can trust Him completely with our life. Those who trust and obey will see His Glory and Goodness manifest in their life over and over again. Humans have trust issues. We struggle to believe which hinders our faith delaying our blessing. We must believe completely trusting the Will and Way of God in all things to have His Very Best in life and win the race of faith.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG)

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. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

 

God gives us vision. While we mull it over, He makes the way for it to come to pass. It is not delayed but every detail is falling into place. When He says, “Go!” We must find it in ourselves to take the first step, then another and another. I have seen God move mountains and do miracles in my life yet am still challenged like everyone else when it comes to big steps of faith into the realm of hope.

I find that when I am challenged I can usually can find someone in the Word of God to identify with. For our son’s journey, it was Abraham. Once I decided that the only way through this was to trust the Lord with our son, it was a challenge. Maybe not the first time I was told that he had cancer or the second, perhaps it was the third or fourth. I began to picture this mighty man of God walking up the mountain by faith. I did not have a knife in my hand but I did not have the cure to cancer either. So we kept walking. And walking. And walking. Then one day in my mind, I began cross country running up to the top. Rather than edging up the side of a cliff, I was jumping from rock to rock and I could see the dust rise from each footfall. Was I really running? No. But my spirit woman was and she intended to win. We did. We are now approaching one year of remission in a kid that was not given much of chance to live. This was our “last ditch” effort. But look what the Lord has done. We didn’t quit. Couldn’t. The price was too high. What if I learned to run like that in all things? When God says it, I just do it? What would my life be like? It would be victory after victory because Jesus is our Champion. Lord, teach me to run the race of faith in all things.

Galatians 5:7-9 (MSG)

You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment.

 

Watch your step today. The enemy is trying to create diversions and detours to keep you from successfully achieving and having all that God has for you. We must learn to guard our heart AND our way. Any deviation from the steps God has laid before us takes us from God’s Perfect Will into His Permissible Will. We cannot have the prize if we do not fulfill the necessary steps. I do not want to be disqualified. People are not your problem. Circumstances do not have the power to hinder you. Situations are not detrimental unless we choose to stop running and stay there. Faith takes us out of these places and puts us in His Presence where we find all that we need for every situation. Comfort and complacency may satisfy our flesh but it will never satisfy our soul so we will always be searching if we settle but those who break the chains of fear and run anyway by faith will win every single time.

Philippians 2:14-16 (MSG)

Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.

 

Finally, Philippians 2:16 (NLT) says “do not run in vain.” If you don’t want all that God has for you don’t bother trying to chase after Him. I say that only to say you will be frustrated in your pursuit and spread the wrong message about Christ. See you are free to pursue whatever you want in this life. You can choose life or death. You can pick whether you are blessed or cursed. It is all up to you. That is what freedom is all about – anything less than the vision God has given you has the potential to become a nightmare. It is all or nothing. Why put in all the time and effort if the prize doesn’t matter? But if it does matter…why not run with it and decide that winning is the only option. Faith leads the way to victory. You must step out to finish. You cannot win if you do not try!

Hold back nothing in your pursuit of abundant life today and you will find it. When you do nothing and no one can every take it from you because it will be yours. You will own it. You were born for such a time as this. God has given you clear vision. He has ordered your steps. Now all you have to do is run with it!

Hebrews 12:10-13 (MSG)

While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

The Love Challenge

The Love Challenge

Mark 12:29-31 (NKJV)

Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

 

I am challenged today by God’s Love. The thought that nothing can or ever will separate me from His Love (Romans 8:38-39) is challenging my heart, soul, mind and body (strength) as I consider my love for the One who loves me the most. His Love for me is unconditional. It is complete lacking no good thing. When I give up, His Love keeps going anyway. I know this but truthfully sometimes forget.

I Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

 

Encouraging a friend the other day, it occurred to me that if we fully accepted the challenge to love God completely loving others might not be so difficult. Loving myself may not be quite so tough either. God’s Love is wrapped in a grace that is so good and unconditional that it is incomprehensible to a creature such as man all consumed by sin and imperfection. We do not expect God’s Goodness or His Grace based on our very flawed condition. But that doesn’t change how God sees us or “feels” for us. His Love is not emotional or based on performance. It is. It has always been. It always will be. His Love suffers long even in our rebellion or religion. His Love is kind even when we are not. His Love for us is jealous but not envious in that God knows He love us the most and best. God’s Love is quiet and not pushy as He waits for us to come. He could exalt His Power and unleash His Justice but chooses our submission to enter into our lives. God is not rude but always comes when invited. He doesn’t seek His Own or would have wiped us all out a long, long time ago. He cannot be provoked so don’t worry there is nothing you or I will ever do to make Him stop loving us. He believes in us. He thinks the best of us. He knows the potential in us and that’s why God loves us so much. He does not rejoice in our difficulties or ever feel an “I-told-you-so” is necessary but wraps us tighter in His Love when we mess up. His Love for us bore every sin, believed we were worth His Love, hoped that we would accept and waits as long as it takes to see us through. God’s Love for us never ever fails or runs out or gives up on us. Never.

Too many times – people try to love with the Love of God but do not know or understand what that kind of love is. We have learn to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and body bringing it all into agreement to achieve the kind of love that transcends attitudes and actions to the level of commitment delineated in I Corinthians 13. If we skip ahead, we will be frustrated in this endeavor because it is the God in us that bears the potential to love like that. We need to love God to love others and ourselves. But it is a corporate mindset. We accept Jesus Christ into our heart. The Holy Spirit begins His Work in our soul. The hard part is changing our mind to agree with our heart and soul. If we win this battle and become confident in His Love, our body and strength will follow suit and faith wins the day in love.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16 (NKJV)
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

We have been given the potential to have the Mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the One who is from God that will make known to us those things which our human mind cannot comprehend and will not willingly accept due to the contradictory nature. Jesus Christ advocates for us in Heaven with the Father for righteousness sake. (I John 2:1) He tells God the Father to look at our heart. The place the Jesus resides so that God only sees the Blood of His Only Son and not the sins of His People. The Holy Spirit teaches us the things we need to know about God’s Love. The Holy Spirit is the helper who challenges our human mindset to accept confident hope and live by faith rather than sight. (John 14:26) It is a constant lifelong battle to accept God’s Love over the way of this world. (Romans 7:21-25) Our flesh will always battle to the death. Jesus guards our heart. The Holy Spirit works in our soul. We must take control of our mind which is led by the flesh. How we feel, what we know, and the infiltration of worldly philosophies that challenge the Presence of God in our heart, soul and body must be severely dealt with. I have seen God heal my daughter miraculously of asthma in a moment. I have seen God heal our son of cancer not once but four separate times. These are the most evident to the world. But I could tell you of all the wonderful and miraculous things that He has done for us – yet I still struggle with my flesh every single day to believe in God’s Love more than any other force in my life.

Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

The love challenge that we are faced with today is not to love ourselves or other people. Outside of the Love of God, it is clear that this becomes an impossible endeavor. The only shot that we have in fulfilling the Lord’s Two “Greatest” Commandments is to know and fully accept God’s Love for us heart, soul, mind and body. We must be our life into agreement with God’s Love. We must accept that there is nothing we can do or say to earn it. We will never be worthy of it and still learning to fully accept it in our great weakness and insufficiency. It is easier to love in a position of power because we have nothing to lose. But to love by surrender or submission having nothing to offer and everything to gain creates a vulnerability that requires greater faith than any other relationship that we have. We become more than conqueror’s when we accept the Love of God offered to us through Jesus Christ. The Power of His Love is our strength. It is that which changes our mind and our body will soon follow suit. We are challenged by faith to believe that even death cannot separate us or anything I have done wrong in my life. I must believe that even the enemy cannot snatch me from His Love with all his lies and delusions. I have to know that no matter what I did yesterday, I do today or I mess up and do tomorrow that God’s Love is constant no matter what. No height or depth – high or low – mountain or valley takes me out of His Arms or removes me from the Presence of His Unfailing Love for me. There is no created thing that can ever or will ever love me more than My God. Jesus secured that love for me and I just have to learn to accept it – all of it.

Romans 5:1-5 (NKJV)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 

The challenge to fully accept God’s Love is upon us. We cannot look to society to teach us or show us that kind of love. It is a day and age that if the world has its way, God will be erased from it completely. We are in the days of rampant sin and the love of many has grown cold. (Matthew 24:11-13) This is called the realm of hope because now we can no longer rely on what we see but on what we know about God. We must know God to understand His Love. Religion does not offer solace because it has been infiltrated too. The Holy Spirit is whispering to the heart of the church today one person at a time to come closer. Move deeper.

Knowing the Love of God does not change the fact that there will be trials and tribulation in our life. These pressures force us to evaluate what we believe about God’s Love and hopefully makes us more aware of just how much He loves and cares for us. It is up to us to decide whether we will empower our heart and soul or allow our mind to run things. We must be avid learners for the rest of our life to overcome the flesh constantly seeking to know the Love of God more and more. We will never reach its parameters. It takes effort just like any other relationship. It takes focus, drive and motivation. We will fight for every victory of faith beginning with the battle of our mind. God’s Love is the driving force behind every miracle we experience in life. He changes the outcomes in our life when given our trust. It is all about His Love. As we learn to accept it, we will be more effective in our sharing it with others. Take the love challenge today. God’s Love will never fail me. He is always watching out for me. He is always on my side. Fear means that I do not believe that. Anxiety means that I am losing hold of His Love on my end and need to get a grip. Decide that God’s Love for you is bigger than any problem or situation. Demand to know its vastness as this is our undeserved privilege thanks to Jesus! Do not give up. Do not give in. Do not let your guard down. Take that step of faith confident that God’s Love is holding you tight. Never let go of confident hope because His Love will never disappoint us!

2 Corinthians 13:14 (NKJV)

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Love and Let Live

Love and Let Live

John 1:14 (NLT)

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

 

There has been a great deal of hoopla surrounding the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage yesterday. Social media is blowing up about the subject. Pastors posting their public opinion. People voicing their perspective of the case. I did not post anything about it. I will not other than this quiet meditation between the Lord and me this morning. I have mixed feelings in this whole debate. I am married and have been for many years. Before we were married legally, I felt a heart connection and soul tie with my husband shortly after our first date. I knew in my heart that this was the person that God created for me. I do not feel that the government has anything to do with our union other than I have a paper tucked away in a file that acknowledges it legally. However if the courts decided to end marriage altogether it would not change the love and commitment that I have for my husband and the promise that we made before God on July 17, 1999. This is the entirety of my opinion on the “case” and “matter”.

I do believe that the enemy uses hot topics such as these things to incite the church rather than igniting compassion in the heart of Christians. I am a Christian. They can take the Bible out of schools, prisons, hotels and even my home one day if they want to – I have it written on my heart. We can fight about every precept in the Bible if we want to and become like Pharisees/Defenders of the Law and miss the point entirely. The Word of God became human. He made His Home among us. His Name is Jesus. He is full of unfailing love and faithfulness. We have seen His Glory will we reflect it to the world. I can be right even if no one else thinks that I am. I have not been instructed to change the minds of people but rather introduce them to the One who can change their heart. To live and let live is not a concept of accepting the world and all its sin but loving everyone anyway!

Psalm 119:5-7 (NLT)

Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!

 

My actions are my responsibility. My words are also my responsibility. I will never live a sinless life. It is way too late for that. I will more likely sin before lunch today and most definitely in the future as well. I need the Grace of God given to humanity by Jesus Christ. Friend, I have to have it to make it to Eternity. Salvation was an act of repentance. It was a turnaround but did not completely fix my sin problem. I refuse to point a finger at any other person including you to say it’s the same for you, too. That’s what most of the world is doing today – it is wrong. It is not godly or God-Like. God is Sovereign and Constant. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is sinless. He doesn’t change. He came to show us God’s Glory expressed in a Grace so abundant in love that it could overcome every sin that we can or will ever commit. His Grace was enough. We cannot help it, enhance it or modify it. It is complete.

Now that all my doing is completely undone by this revelation of grace and back to my job in all this – it is to share this all-consuming love with a lost and dying world. If my actions are to consistently reflect God’s Decrees, I should probably know what they are. When I think about the Lord what I believe to be true is that in all things and in every season – His Unfailing Love and Goodness pursues me so much so that it should overflow into the lives of others. Where is the love in these arguments about perpetuated sin? What happened to the one who is without sin may throw the first stone? We live in glass houses when it comes to the Lord. He sees right through us. He is looking for love. His Love in us magnified to the world even when it is wrong contradicting His Love and His Law. We are called to love one another. How are we doing? When I compare my life to His Commands, the very first comparison should be to His Love. Most of the time, I must stop right there and work more to live and let live.

Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

 

Security in salvation is totally based on faith. It is impossible to please the Lord without it. Our hope is completely founded on the faith that we have in God’s Love for us. I think as Christians we forget that sometimes. Search ME, O God. Know MY heart. Test ME. Know MY anxious thoughts. Point out anything in ME that offends you. Lead ME along the path of everlasting life. Christians are not supposed to be offensive but rather confident in their relationship with Jesus Christ enough to love others no matter what they do. To forgive the unforgivable. To turn the stinging cheek. When finished with the process of perfection in ourselves, we are free to fix others.

Romans 8:37-39 (NLT)

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I have overwhelming victory simply because Jesus loves me. I choose to accept His Love and live in it. I am convinced by faith that nothing can ever separate me from God’s Love. If I truly believe that, I have given up my rights of condemnation because I have accepted His Unfailing and Unconditional Love as my own. For God so loved the world (and everyone in it) that He gave His Only Son that we may be saved not punished and condemned. Jesus did not bring condemnation into this world so how can Christians? (John 3:16-18) There is absolutely no condemnation in Christ or it would be contradictory to grace and mercy. (Romans 8:1-2) His Unfailing Love is better than life. (Psalm 63:1-3) As we seek to bask in it, live in it, breathe it in and spread it all around, we must focus on the people and not all the sin. Every one sins and falls short of the Glory of God. No one is worthy of God’s Love. We are all sinners saved by grace. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. He loves us all the same. I should live in that love every day becoming more mindful of the fact that Jesus came to give life. Love gives life. It covers a multitude of sin. (I Peter 4:8) Court rulings don’t change the world. Lawmakers can pass rules and regulations until their hearts are content. It doesn’t impact forever. Christians can have church, schedule revival and even stand on street corners yelling, “Jesus saves!” but until we learn to love each other for life – we are nothing more than “noisy gong or clanging symbol”. (I Corinthians 13)

Only three things last forever – faith, hope and love. God has decreed the greatest of these to be love. As a reminder – “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” How’s your love life today? Yeah, I am still working on mine.

Psalm 119:37-38 (NLT)

Turn my eyes from worthless things and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise made to those who fear you.

 

Politics and religion can be used by the enemy and he does every day to put people at odds. I do not discuss either with many people. My relationship with Jesus Christ prohibits it as it usually produces adversity and opposition between people. The basis of my life is faith in the Love of God given to me by the Lord when He died for me. My opinions are not relevant any longer. The enemy will use these two platforms to produce contention between believers and those who desperately need an introduction to Jesus Christ. My righteousness or rightness is solely based on the character and grace of Jesus – it is not my own. I do not need to defend it but live a life of love so others want it. Love does not condone but it also doesn’t condemn. Love does not accept the unacceptable but it also does not create adversity. Love doesn’t compromise but it isn’t supposed to be critical. I think to live and let live we must first master love and go from there. In the meantime, we should turn our eyes from worthless things including worthless arguments (Proverbs 13:3) and opinions that really do more harm than good for the Kingdom of God. The world needs our love. All of it. We need God’s Love – all of it. But then again…this is nothing more than my opinion.

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.

 

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

This is YOUR Day

This is YOUR Day

Proverbs 16:3 (NLT) Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed.

 

Today is YOUR day! When you woke up this morning, your day was already destined for success. The new mercies of the Lord met you to equip you with all the grace you would need to get up and fight the good fight of faith and see the Glory of the Lord shine through your life. What’s a matter? You didn’t “feel” it. Perhaps you woke up feeling like same stuff different day. I think we all might approach life a little differently if we looked at it through God’s eyes and not be natural sight. We are warned not to judge a book by its cover, but we do it anyway. Judging today by yesterday will only bring the past into the present. Hope gives us new perspective each day if we choose to see life that way. When we commit our life, every moment, each breath and all that we say or do to the Lord – we will succeed. It says so right there in black and white. Commit your actions to the Lord. (Check) Your plans will succeed.

Commitment is a heart connection. Too many times we make it something we do rather than understanding it is the intent in everything we do. Our commitment to Christ should be reflected in each word spoken and everything that we attempt to do. Rather than doing “something” for Jesus – it is taking our life and making it all about the Lord. But this is not a religious or super spiritual act – its living in love. Wrapping every single deed with the love that the Lord has wrapped our life in and presenting it to the world. Many will read this and balk because the thought of loving in such a way creates fear. Love like this is submission and contrary to the world in which we live. Putting others in front of ourselves, yielding to the momentary and temporary circumstances while the Lord works it all out for good, yet choosing not to gripe, grumble or complain but humbly, quietly and joyfully waiting and hoping. How can this be success? Oh friend, this is more than success but absolute victory.

Job 22:28 (NLT)

You will succeed in whatever you choose to do and light will shine on the road ahead of you.

 

Ironically, it is Job’s friend trying to offer encouragement in the midst of great trials where this little nugget of truth is found. You will succeed in whatever you “choose” to do. Poor Job! He lost everything according to this world’s standards. He didn’t fall short or make God mad. Yet his friends kept urging him to repent and turn back to God. You will succeed in “whatever” you choose to do. How is the possible? The choice we make to succeed is to live in Christ. Simply choosing Jesus as our Savior and Lord opens every single door to success in our life. As we walk with Him, we walk through those doors. He is the Light. The Light that will shine on the road ahead of you. Your life is predestined by God for success. It is our deviation from the Truth that keeps us from it sometimes. When we walk with God – we are successful.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

 

Walking in love each day allows us to be successful in life. Love covers a multitude of sins and should be used in our daily encounters with other people. We need each other to succeed. Together we help each other achieve the Will of God. There is purpose in every single relationship that we have. Jesus told us to love others. He even suggested us to love our enemies. Walking in love each day allows us to be successful in life. Love covers a multitude of sins and should be used in our daily encounters with other people. We need each other to succeed. Together we help each other achieve the Will of God. There is purpose in every single relationship that we have. Jesus told us to love others. He even suggested us to love our enemies. Solomon offers insight on this when he describes the power of relationships in life. We help each other succeed. Every connection to another has potential. We must strive to love others each and every day no matter who they are or how they may treat us. This isn’t about them. It is about us remaining in close fellowship with Jesus who will walk with us and make us successful based on such faithfulness.

Genesis 39:22-23 (NLT)

Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.

 

Joseph went from a pit to the palace with several bounces along the way. In every situation, the Lord was with Him. He is with you today! Joseph did not let his current situation stop his future success. Everything he did – Joseph gave it his all and did his best. It is evident in his constant promotion. The Lord looks into our heart. He is all about our good intentions. Trusting God is a heart condition that cannot be based on what we see but lived out by faith. The place you are right now and the things you are doing can catapult you to success. You don’t know who God will put in your path today or tomorrow who has the potential to change your position in life. Do it all to the Glory of God. The first time you experience supernatural success that can come only from the Lord with total and complete satisfaction found only in Jesus – you won’t want anything else ever again.

Joshua 1:8-9 (NLT)

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

 

Finally, everyone could learn a thing or two about following instructions. I am a rule follower. I read the instructions. I have found these two things to be useful in my life. We must study this “Book of Instructions” continually to find the way to success. Meditating on God’s Word day and night will change our heart and mind forever. We must be convinced that God wants us to be successful because He does. There is no Glory in the fallen, abused, broken and destroyed. Grace covers our sin so punishment is not in order. The Lord didn’t cover our weakness to make us defeated. His Glory is in our success. This is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it because it is your day to succeed and flourish as a Child of the Living God. God’s Word is not about a list of rules and regulations – it is about wrapping our life up in the Love of God. By doing so, you will be strong, courageous. You will prosper and succeed in all that you do. What are you waiting for? This is Your Day. Claim it. Believe it. Live it.

Psalm 118:24-26 (NLT)

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success. Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.

Fill Me Up

Fill Me Up

Colossians 3:16-17 (NLT)

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

 

Everyone is full of something. No really it’s true. The human heart and person is a vessel and conduit of the things that are allowed to live within us. We go through life gathering from experience and letting those things we encounter mold and shape us. These are the things that determine who we are and what we allow to exist in our life. Like a sponge once dry and empty full of holes once placed in liquid it is full of whatever it touches, we also absorb those things around us that define us as people. It is not until that liquid is released that the sponge can once again take in more fluids. Human beings have a capacity. God knows our heart. He knows the parameters of its walls and intensity of its beating. The enemy wants to fill our heart with less than God’s Best for our life and call it desire. But true desire can only be satisfied when complete lacking no good thing. This is God’s Desire for us today. He is willing to apply the pressure needed to empty our life of all the lesser things until we are ready to take in His Best, His Glory, His Goodness and True Perfection.

2 Corinthians 4:5-10 (NLT)

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

 

Our heart is a vessel capable of carrying the Holy Spirit or the very essence of the Living God – Jesus Christ. Think about that. The place inside of us that we so freely give to so many other things. It needs to be constantly emptied and refilled. Think about a glass used for drinking water. We take the glass and put water in it. The water is pure, clean and refreshing. But when we fill the glass maybe we find something floating in the water and now it must be poured out. Once the glass is cleaned, we refill it and use it again. Or perhaps, the water reveals a cup still soapy. I think of this as religion that stifles our relationship with Christ making our water just as distasteful to a dry and thirsty world. They want the Love of God and the Grace of Jesus but the religion of people have made it distasteful.

God has given us a light to shine in the darkness. It is the Message imprinted in our heart of God’s Great Love. The vessel that we carry it in is our hearts. If our heart is not clean, it will convolute the message that we are trying to portray. If our heart is too hard, religion will suffocate the Spirit from working in our life. So what happens? We are pressed, not crushed. Persecuted, not abandoned. Struck down, but never destroyed. God takes the hardships, trials and troubles of life to empty us of self and fill us with more of Him. Over and over again, like the wringing of that sponge, until we are ready to receive. It sounds like such a harsh process until you experience the Glory of God or His Peace that passes all understanding or the Inexpressible Joy that comes from knowing Him and you realize that life is better than you could have ever made it settling, compromising and struggling along.

Romans 5:2-5 (NLT)

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Faith is the game changer. It makes every trial in life worth it when we decide to trust God. I was driving home yesterday and became overwhelmed by the Goodness of God in my life. Like a dam bursting over I just began to cry at the thought of His Love and how it has manifested in my life. There was no special reason. God did not just do a miracle. It was not based on an emotion or episode. I was completely moved by the Power of God and His Love for me. As we begin to identify the place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, we confidently and joyfully delight in God’s Glory. We are not ruled by the emotions of mankind anymore as God carefully and consistently changes us just as He promised. It may feel radical but I guess that’s what resurrection power would feel like as our body is aligned with the Ruler of the Universe. God is developing endurance in us so we never give up on His Best. He strengthening our character so we make choices based on what we know rather than how we fell. He is leading us to confident hope that laughs in the face of danger standing at the foot of the Cross. God loves us. When we know that because it has filled us to overflowing – we will become confident. It is that confident hope that allows us to live by faith and not by sight.

Acts 9:17-20 (NLT)
So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”

I cannot explain the Hand of God and how He works. I cannot fully understand why that in the midst of adversity and my total weakness that I feel the most peace. I know it is the Lord. I know that when I cannot rely on myself and am forced to simply trust God – I am changed in that moment for the better every single time. So Saul was serving God, killing Christians and protecting his religion. He felt totally justified by God in this position. He did not consider himself a murderer but defender of his faith. God had to do something radical to get his attention. See God knew that Saul loved him and was just trying to obey. The Lord called out to Saul on the road to Damascus and he was blinded in that moment. Then the Lord told Ananias to go to him. Can you imagine the thoughts of Ananias? But he obediently did exactly as the Lord instructed. He laid hands on Saul and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. In that moment, Saul regained his sight but with a brand new perspective as he surrendered his life to the Lord. I don’t know what you are facing today. I do know that the God of the Universe will use any means possible to change our heart, save our soul and deliver us for His Glory. For the rest of his life, Saul who becomes Paul writes from prison. But the Message that he shares with the world on behalf of Christ is the most encouraging of them all. They are not the words of a beaten and imprisoned man but a soul set free. Freedom is not a position it’s a mindset. No matter where you are – you can experience freedom. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

The Lord wants us empty so that we can be filled today. Maybe you are under tremendous pressure today, good now you have room for more of Jesus. Perhaps you feel cornered and captured by your problems, let the Son set you free from the inside out. Inspect the vessel of your life is it dirty or a little too soapy mucking up the water of your life – empty it so it can be filled with living water once again. God will allow you to become dry and thirsty so you will want to be refilled, refreshed, renewed and restored. Desire produces faith that leads us to confident hope. Those who live in such hope will never be disappointed.

Romans 15:13 (NLT)

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Dwelling Place

The Dwelling Place

Psalm 84:1-4 (NIV)

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.

 

I love my new job. I am learning all about the world of insurance. I had no idea that the realm of the insured was heavily governed by state legislature but it is. I am a nerd. I love to know all the rules and regulations. I like to live within in their lines. I am comfortable in never knowing the inside of a jail or walls of a prison if I can avoid them. I would much rather dwell inside the comforts of home. In the world of property and casualty insurance for residences, there are two worlds – homeowners insurance that covers the structure and contents then there is dwelling insurance that covers our personal stuff. In the flux of learning copious amounts of information, I was not at all surprised when I began dreaming about “dwelling” this morning assuming that it was from all the useful knowledge I am gaining at work. But then in the quiet darkness of early morning before the chaos called family awakes, I could sense this was something the Lord wanted me to consider today.

Homeowners insurance covers your house and the things that make up your living quarters. But dwelling insurance covers all those things that make your house a home. Vague description I know but again this is not an infomercial. The Lord began speaking to my heart today about life. Where I live? How I live? It is important to the Lord how I live. He died so that I would a rich, satisfying life. (John 10:10) Where I dwell each day determines my success or ultimate failure in achieving such a purpose in my life. Growing up as a young child, we lived in a mobile home. I remember thinking that I wanted a “real” house one day like my grandmother and grandfather. One that did not sound like a giant box whenever anyone moved up and down the hall. I discovered as an adult that I did not really long for a house as much as the home my grandparents had together. Everything in this life is temporary. I forget that all the time and dwell on things and in things that are not permanent as though they are forever. How about you? We place high level of importance on security in this life never really contemplating what if tomorrow never comes. This is not a call of despair but rather an invitation to freedom.

The Lord wants us to dwell in His Presence today. It is not a tangible place like a house where you open a door and step in. You cannot get your GPS to guide you to your destination. It is not a filled with things but rather the One Thing we all need to live a rich, satisfying life. How do we get there from here? How do we dwell in an unseen place with an untouchable God? We must learn to find this dwelling place and move the contents of our life from the temporary life we now live into the forever place of His Presence.

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (NIV)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

 

We bought the house we live in just over ten years ago as it was being built. The company had already drafted the plans and designed the house so we just watched it all come together. When we purchased our home, everything inside of it was brand spanking new. It still had tags on everything. It was painted to perfection. And then of course, we moved our band of gypsies inside and needless to say it has been well-loved. Now it is beginning to need some touchup here and there even though we strive to care for it, it is like every other physical resource we have subject to wear and tear. Painting, caulking, repairing and replacing just come with owning a house. However, something that I have discovered is that while I long to fix most little things there are some things that represent the memories that were made in this house now called a home. The imperfections came about not because we owned the property but rather because we lived in it.

The world that we live in today is a temporary place for those who love the Lord and have Jesus to be their Savior. We do not end up here forever but rather walk through this life to get to Eternity. We dwell here a short time but sometimes forget where our home is. I am just as guilty of it as the next person. The word dwell means to live or stay as a permanent resident, to reside. It also means to live or continue in a given state. Finally, to dwell is a state of mind meaning to linger over, emphasize or ponder in thought. To dwell means to live in a certain state. Dwelling is not a place but how and where we live mind, soul and body. The conditions of life are subject to the world. Where we live. How we live. What we have in relationship to things will always be subject to the degradation and downward sloping of society. But how we live mind, soul and body does not have to be dependent on outward conditions. When we decide to dwell in the House of the Lord, we change the outcome of certain situations in life. We remove ourselves from the natural so that the supernatural governs our life. This is not a physical and tangible choice but an inward change that can absolutely impact our living conditions.

Psalm 15 (NIV)

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.

Who can dwell in the Presence of God? Who can live on His Holy Mountain? The one whose walk is blameless. Build up, build up and letdown for some who read this today. It shouldn’t be. Your walk is blameless because of Jesus Christ alone. How we live is really up to you and me. I had a job. The Lord opened the door of opportunity for another. The money was the same and benefits, too. The difference between the two was dramatic though. One working for the government in a high level supervisory position which a ton of responsibility and the other a low-key position in a small insurance company with one job and low stress level. One would think the choice might be easy. It was not. The world wants us to think that success is measured by stress. It tells us to fight our way up the corporate ladder. It sucks you in to the competitive career world quickly. How can you drop the heavy workload and assume the much lighter burden without becoming suspect? We assume the conditions of where we live. When we become immersed in life it infiltrates our mind, soul and body. But if we will make the choice to dwell in the Presence of the Lord that same life because a place of blessing and peace.

It’s time to work smarter not harder. To know and understand the Will and Way of God we must know the Word of God. When we begin to feed our mind, soul and body with the Word – it strengthens our spirit man (or woman) to understand the impact of God’s Presence in our life over the expectation of mankind. But didn’t the Word of God just say that I must be “blameless” in my walk with the Lord. Yes it did. Yes you are. The world wants us to think we must do “something” to earn the Grace of God that is actually a gift. It is up to us to discover the Truth and believe it that God’s Grace is His Gift to us and know we can come boldly into His Presence and live there if we want to.

The only way to be blameless and righteous is through Jesus Christ. You cannot do anything other than to come to Him for it. (Period) End of story. We are not comfortable in our undoing but would much prefer doing something. Well that’s too bad because our sin makes our offering not acceptable. What can we “do” for the Lord today to remain faithfully in His Presence and dwell where He is? Walk in love, talk in love, and live in love with Jesus so much so that it pours out into the life of others. This changes the place we live into the Dwelling Place of God wherever that is and whoever is there with us will be forever impacted.

Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 

We have the right and freedom to choose how we live our life. A true love affair is never forced so the Lover of our soul gives us a choice whether we choose death or life. I choose life today. Life is found in the Presence of God. It is a place we cannot see or feel but can very much live. It sets the course for our daily life. There is blessing in each moment and potential in each breath as Children of the Living God. We decide whether or not we will live as permanent residents in His Company. We choose whether or not to live in our current condition or will we surrender that “state” to Jesus for quick rejuvenation and renovation. We are the ones who linger over things that don’t really matter, or emphasize our problem when we have the solution or even ponder in thought the lesser things more than the One Thing who we really need. God wants us to dwell with Him today. He will change the living conditions of those who love Him with all their heart enough to move a little closer in each day. We have to trust the Lord because we cannot see Him. We do good because we love Him. He allows us to dwell in safety in the midst of the roaring lions of this life. God’s Glory is in His Presence right where He wants us to be. (Psalm 26:8) Strength and joy surround the midst of Him. (I Chronicles 16:27) It is a safe place. (Psalm 4:8) I want the life that God has prepared for me in His Dwelling Place today far about the worthless things in this life to live in forever today.

Psalm 27:4-5 (NIV)

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.

Finding Grace

Finding Grace

Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

 

“There we will receive His Mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” I need God’s Mercy every single day. He provides it each morning and I gladly scoop it up. I am strong-willed, idealistic and control is my nature. So when I get up to face each day, I must come to the Cross and humbly accept the mercy of God to get me through today. I want to serve God in every attitude and action today but let’s face it when people are involved and the enemy is real this can be a real challenge. Thank you Jesus that He is our high priest who sits on the Throne of our lives giving us just what we need to make it through each day. The Lord knows because He did it – He lived an ordinary life with extraordinary potential just like we do. The only difference is that Jesus was able to do it successfully without sinning. Well, that’s not my case. We approach the Throne of God and He gives us mercy on the spot or we would be consumed in His Awesome Perfection. His Righteousness would destroy us simply because we have sinned. But the Blood of Jesus covers us so we can come boldly. It is in this place of humble surrender and full acceptance of His Mercy that we find the grace we need to live this life in love with Jesus and others as instructed.

What would life be without people? A lot less dramatic. It is the diversity of people that brings flavor to life but like food in the kitchen – we do not always appreciate the aroma and taste of every selection. We have always taught our children to thank their host when given a meal even one that they did not care for. Eat a little and be gracious to the person who sacrificed for them. Rather than eye rolling, gagging and voicing their displeasure or distaste. Our old dog is quite the drama king. If presented with dog food that he doesn’t like – he gags and then tries to bury the food in the rug offended that we offered it when he could simply walk away. No I believe he wants us to know his displeasure and feel sorry for him so we will feed him something else. Years ago, he had some teeth removed. We tried to give him wet food which was the first time we encountered such a fit. But after a couple of days of not eating, the vet suggested I grab some chicken hearts and livers cooking them down for the little guy. He ferociously devoured them thus proving the vets theory that he was refusing to eat not unable to. It’s called rebellion. Ouch! I see myself in this story when I do not get my way and go to God for an answer only to discover I need His Mercy and must give His Grace.

Matthew 4:1-11 (NLT)

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil[a] came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

Jesus knows our weaknesses. Who better to give us the mercy and grace we need to overcome them. The enemy wants us to think that God is too high to reach us and Jesus too good to save us. He wants God’s People to feel isolated and insignificant so he can steal the blessings God has for us. People are all in the same position. We all need mercy. We all must find grace. Without these two vital essentials in life, we will not make it through alive. Mercy like faith are personal. It is something we need for ourselves every single day. It is prescribed for us and enjoyed by us. But grace is like hope, not only does it benefit our life but we are given an abundance to share with others. I cannot give you my faith. I cannot extend God’s Mercy to you. But I can offer you hope and show you the grace that I have been given.

Some things that the Lord has impressed upon me today as I bring my weaknesses to the Cross in exchange for His Mercy, I will share with you. First and foremost, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to fast and pray. We must never forget our primary objective in life to follow Jesus. Wherever the Holy Spirit leads us there we should go. After forty days of fasting, the man in Jesus took over and He was hungry. I cannot imagine totally fasting for 40 days and nights without causing great bodily harm to a person. Maybe that’s why Jesus was alone….only kidding. When Jesus was at the end of his own human strength, the enemy showed up in his moment of apparent weakness. First the enemy tried to get Jesus to succumb to natural desire over spiritual destiny. (Verses 3-4) Then he tried to get the Lord to challenge the Will and Way of God. (Verses 5-7) Finally, the enemy attempted to offer Jesus what He had already been given. (Verse 8-11) Jesus overcame the enemy with the Truth. His Spirit was strong despite His Body’s Weakness. We must become strong in the Lord so each testing and trial will strengthened our spirit and not be ruled by our flesh. Jesus understands our weaknesses intimately and intellectually for He has overcome them all.

Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT)
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows
that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

 

Jesus doesn’t just know our weaknesses but dealt with every single one of them. He is an expert on the subject so who better to provide everything we lack to overcome them. He has it covered … with His Blood. Every single sin past, present and future have been washed in the Blood. We need only accept His Mercy. We have it simply by living our life in love with Jesus Christ. It is here we find grace as well. Mercy covers us. Grace extends to the outermost parts of our life as a result. I have faith in God. I know God is good. I know the many things that He has done for me and my family. I have witnessed the vast depths of His Love firsthand. I can give a first person account of how love has rescued me.

Lamentations 3:21-24 (NLT)

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; His Mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

Each morning as I approach the Throne of God and enter His Presence, I accept His Mercy for me that day. I put my hope in Him. My faith is in the Lord. Now if this declaration is true, my total and complete expectation is met in that moment. There is nothing that I “need” or should “want” as I have decided to put my faith in Christ and live in confident hope which means every other person in my life is off the hook. I believe this is what it means in Hebrews 4:15-16 when it says, “There we will receive His Mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Every single day of my life I am tempted to rebel against God’s Favor and reject His Mercy by deciding that there is something I want, need and desire outside of Christ. But when I put all my faith and hope in Him, I accept His Mercy and find His Grace which changes the dynamics of my life completely.

Even though God has proven to be completely faithful in my life and always good and although Jesus is more than enough, I am challenged by human weakness just like everyone else. There are days when I expect more out of others than they are able to give. Days when I decide that being right prevails over love. Times when I decide to step out of mercy and forget about grace only to find that my weaknesses prevail and I succumb quickly running back into His Presence where I belong. Nobody is perfect, that is why He gives us mercy every single day. We need each other and that is why we must find grace.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Every single day that I choose to walk with Christ is a struggle for as much as He wants me to have a rich and satisfying life, the enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy everything good that is within me. (John 10:10) When I accept the Lord’s Mercy, I remain in covenant with Jesus. This partnership empowers me to overcome human weakness and live in God’s Power. This doesn’t mean that I will get it all right or never experience another hardship. In fact, the Word of God says quite clearly that “when I am weak, then I am strong.” When we humble ourselves in the Presence of God accepting His Mercy saying “Lord, I can’t do this without you today” He fills with enough mercy to meet every challenge we will face today. But that’s not all, it is in this place we find grace. Grace that is enough to fulfill our heart, satisfy our soul, and give us the victory. Grace is a place of power in the midst of humble weakness. Laying down our life to everyone else to allow Jesus Christ to be our High Priest and Conqueror. I am so thankful for Jesus today! I am thankful for His Mercy! I love that it is there that I find grace!

Psalm 51:10-15 (NLT)

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.