10 February 2017
So, when life gets tough, know that you have to see your lack before you can receive His abundant solution--and God has amazing things in store for you!
09 February 2017
08 February 2017
05 February 2017
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” ~Philippians 4:4 NKJV
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him . . .” ~Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
Praise offered from times of struggle and pain brings strength and blessing like no other. The injunction to rejoice ALWAYS is a power-packed secret weapon against the enemy of our souls, and a game changer for anyone in a difficult time. Faith pleases God so much--and rejoicing in him while we aren't having an easy time of it is profound faith.
Father, thank you for this key to freedom from the tyranny my circumstance. Thank you for rewarding my faith as I have come to know who you are and have chosen to believe in times when I couldn't see. Bless me and my family and loved ones this day, in Jesus' name. Amen.
04 February 2017
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
~Matthew 5:3 NKJV
Like so many other areas, spiritual hunger is the opposite of physical hunger. Physically, you have to go without eating in order to be hungry. But spiritually, the more you receive, the hungrier you get. Not because you lack, but because you begin to see the limitless nature of God and the unending potential we each have in the Holy Spirit.
Our walk with our infinite God has no end--so our hunger for more of him can be continuous even though we may have received so much already that we overflow in an abundance that blesses others. When we cry out in worship, "We want more, Lord! More, Lord! More!" he rejoices greatly that we are giving him permission to satisfy the longing of his heart, and he and pours out more for anyone ready to receive. Being poor in spirit is an attitude of recognizing our need for God and being willing to receive. It's not about lack or poverty, but about awareness and humility.
God does not want us to go hungry spiritually in order to be hungrier for him--just the opposite. He wants us to be so full and so ready to keep on receiving that he can pour through us like a raging river and transform the world around us. I can't tell you how EXCITED I am to see that happen more and more in my community!
09 January 2017
08 December 2016
Matthew 22, NIV:
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Growing up, I always heard the phrase "Obedience is the first law of heaven". And yet, Jesus himself makes it absolutely clear what the first and greatest commandment is: LOVE. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he taught them that all things s should be done on earth as they are done in heaven. His entire life was an illustration of heaven brought to earth. That's what the law was for: to try to corral a stubborn and prideful people to live as close to a heavenly life on earth as was possible for them.
This morning I especially love this answer to the Pharisees because it is Jesus calling all of us higher. God IS love. We are called to be god-like in all of our interactions, to all people. Obedience to God naturally flows from the reciprocal love we have with God. But obedience is not the first law of heaven. Never has been, never will be, for the word of Jesus Christ is eternal and complete.
Father God, thank you so much for the word. Thank you for the Word made flesh who came and dwelt among us, who truly showed us who you are and who you long for us to become, in you. Bless us all, Papa, to feel that love powerfully and fully, and let every human heart be open to allow blessing flow, always. In Jesus' name, amen.
13 November 2016
“If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.” ~1 John 2:9-11 NLTHow loving am I to other believers? Even (and especially!) those who cherish doctrines distinct from what I personally believe? Whether it's gifts of the spirit, eschatology, or other tenets or precepts, do I draw lines and insist on agreement, or do I relentlessly choose for the love of God pour through me without restraint?
Father God, show me the places in my own heart where I need to let go of judgement. Show me how to evict it, and the path to move forward, walking in forgiveness toward all flesh. I thank you for the consistent support you provide for me directly and through the body of Christ, for the community I belong to both in heaven and on earth. Thank you for your eagerness to connect with me, and make yourself known. Pull all the stops out, Father, and show me how to move through this life motivated and empowered by your love, walking more and more in alignment with your will and heart for each and all. No fear, no condemnation, no reserve against what you ask me to do. Bless this world, bless my community, bless my church communities, bless my family, and bless me, in Jesus' name, amen.
12 November 2016
“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” ~Psalms 95:1-2 NKJVI love how the psalmist talks about really making NOISE.
This God of ours is not a staid old stoic, requiring silent reverence. (Although reverence can also be silent.) The reality of our God's nature draws boisterous praise from the psalmist. Why not from us?
Papa God, let your people be released to make as much noise over your goodness and the victory of Jesus as they do at the winning touchdown in a championship football game. Let us use our voices to declare the joy of your reality, changing things around us forever. In Jesus' name, amen!
"And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." ~Mark 16:20 KJVFolks. Even the King James Version, translated to ensure uninterrupted fealty to King James and the Church of England, teaches that God partners with his people to accomplish his work!
Let's step up to the invitation Jesus offers, literally calling to us every moment of every day, longing to work intimately with us in the harvest of souls that he's desperate to bring into his garners.
Papa God, show us all how to come "farther up and farther in" to the riches of your grace that you are pleading with us to accept so we can be transformed, and we can transform the world more and more into the image of God. Lead us in this miraculous work, teach us how to open our hearts to you more and more so our hearts can be more and more open to those around us. Thank you for the incredible, amazing way that our relationship with others so mirrors our relationship with you, empowering us in ways we could never have imagined. I rejoice in you always, and can't even begin to put into words how amazed and wonder-filled I am at the thought of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and everything that it means to me. Thank you, Papa! Thank you!!!! In Jesus' lovely and precious name, amen.