Steadfast Love!

Dawn sky over the flower field, nature backgroundSometimes we face disappointment when our dreams and plans don’t go the way we think they should. Things we have hoped for can come crumbling down around us and we can be left shattered and broken. It can be hard to dream again.

When we seek God about our future, we can find out if our dreams were actually His dreams for us to begin with. When we spend time with God in our prayer and devotions we enter the throne room of grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) and we can receive counsel and healing.

As we spend time immersed in the love of God, we will begin to transform more and more into the person we were designed to be from the beginning. God’s love changes us forever. When we become rooted and grounded in His love, we will become more confident to dream again.

Life will always bring troubles, plans will constantly change, but God’s love is steadfast and secure. His love for us never changes. He will never leave us nor forsake us. So when we hit rough patches and bumps on the road of life, we can face it all with confidence and resilience as we rest in God’s love for us.

John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the the world.”

Advertisements

Dream Bigger!

iStock_000037693868Small

Sometimes in life we can suffer failure and defeat. If we are not careful we can allow it to color our decisions moving forward. We can scale back our dreams and start to play it safe. We can make all sorts of excuses about why we aren’t following our dreams but deep inside we know it’s because we are scared and we don’t want to fail again.

However, the truth is God created us for a great purpose and destiny. He marked us with our special DNA and individual fingerprints because no one else can be or do what He has uniquely designed us for. God has promised to always be there when we fail. He will always pick us back up again and get us back on track.

As we spend time in prayer, worship and reading of the Word we will be refreshed. Time immersed in the love of God will always heal and restore us. Now we can begin to dream again. We can allow God to bring us Kingdom dreams that are always bigger than ourselves. Kingdom dreams ultimately help others in the process and leave a legacy behind them.

The Bible says that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can hope, think, or ask (Eph 3:20). When we come to God with the Kingdom dreams that He has put into our hearts, and commit them to Him, our plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3).

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

Filled Up!

many daisy flowers at sunset in summerLife is made up of decision after decision. These decisions can be small or big, simple or complex. Each decision we make leads us down a path, either to the sound and secure road that leads to life full of good opportunities or to the crooked and shifting path that looms with danger and pitfalls.

As we walk along, if we are not fully whole and restored, we can make decisions that lead to the wrong path. This path is full of hurt, pain, drama, self-destructive behaviors and addictions. There is a God shaped hole in all of us that demands to be filled. We can try to fill it with everything and anything besides God’s love but ultimately we will become only more hurt and broken while hurting others in the process as well.

When we receive Jesus into our hearts, God fills that hole with His unconditional love. When we spend time with God in our prayer times and devotions of worship and reading the Word, we sense His sweet presence, and are filled with His joy. His peace permeates our being and now we are led by the Spirit of God to make wise decisions.

God leads us along the secure path; and we can avoid the instant-gratification of short-term decisions that cause destruction because we no longer find them appealing. Now we are filled with the love that we were made for.  We no longer need to fill something on the inside with things on the outside. As we are reminded daily of God’s great love for us, we will see our lives effortlessly transform, and we will begin to blossom and flourish in every realm of life.

Matthew 7:13 –  “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.”

 

Perfect Love!

iStock_000033541504SmallWe can find ourselves worrying about things we have no control over. We worry about people’s reactions, their opinions and even their responses. The truth is we only have control over our own response. Undealt with fear can lead to severe depression and anxieties. Fear can affect our emotional and physical health and lead us to make rash decisions and unwise choices.

The only antidote for fear is love. The Bible says that perfect love casts out fear. As much as we try in our own finite strength, our love is never perfect. We are finite imperfect beings who easily exhaust our ability to love.

However, when we accept Jesus into our hearts, we come into relationship with the God of the Universe who loves us unconditionally. The Scriptures say that God is love (1 John 4:8). As we allow God’s love to permeate our being, we will begin to see our fears decrease and hope rise.

Jesus Christ loved us perfectly when He laid down His life for us at the cross. As we spend our devotional times in prayer, worship and reading the Word, we will draw closer to God; and we will sense His beautiful presence and be saturated in His radical, relentless, unfailing, infinite, perfect love.

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Fearless

iStock_000016010984SmallSometimes in life we will find ourselves overwhelmed with worries and fear. We can play scenarios in our mind of bad situations that could happen to our loved ones or ourselves. We can be so afraid of what could happen that we forget what is happening. We can get so caught up in worrying about the future that we forget to enjoy the present. “What ifs” can stop us in our tracks and keep us from living a fulfilling life.

When we come into relationship with our Heavenly Father, through accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we enter into a divine intimate relationship. The God of the universe who shaped and formed us becomes our parent. He reveals himself in the Gospels as a Father. The Bible lists many names for God but the one that Jesus came to reveal is Father.

This relationship is so close that the Bible says we can cry out “Abba.” Abba is the Hebrew word for daddy. Sometimes we are skeptical because our earthly fathers may have been less than perfect. The truth is every father is less than perfect because they are human. However, our Heavenly Father is a perfect father. He loves us, cares for us, provides for us, protects us, leads us, redeems and establishes us.

In Israel you can see little children running up to their fathers with arms stretched out to be picked up calling “Abba” “Abba”. This is a perfect picture of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. When we come to God in prayer, worship, reading the Word, or just being still before Him, He is picking us up and embracing us. He is holding us safely and tightly in His arms. In His arms our fears fade and we find comfort, joy, peace and well-being.

No matter what stress, fears or anxieties we are facing, we can daily come to the throne room of Grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) and receive peace. We can release all our cares, worries and fears to God and begin to step fully into the destiny and purpose that we were called to; and as we receive the abundant supply of grace and gift of righteousness we will reign in life (Romans 5:17).


Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

The Champ

iStock_000006014401SmallSometimes we find ourselves fighting our way through life. We feel that we are on top at one moment and down for the count in the next. We don’t see it coming and we wonder how we got laid out flat. When we are knocked down, we can remember that we have a mighty advocate on our side.

When we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, we are accepted into the Beloved. We come into relationship with our Heavenly Father and He sees us perfect and accepted in Christ. Now when we fall, we have someone whose arms are stretched out towards us to help.

The Bible says that “if God is for us, then who can be against us (Romans 8:31).” That means that no matter where you are in life, you have someone who is fighting for you. You are not alone! The creator of the universe is on your side, fighting on your behalf and working out all things together for good for you (Romans 8:28).

When we are down, we can look up to our loving Savior. He always lifts our head and takes our hand to help us back up on our feet again. As we stay immersed in His unfailing, infallible, radical love, we will find ourselves full of strength and vigor. We can shake off all the pain, hurts and offenses and jump back in the ring. In the ring we only need to stand with arms stretched high in the sign of victory because we already possess the Victor’s cup which was won for us by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 124:2-4 –  Let Israel now say, “Had it not been the Lord who was on our side When men rose up against us, Then they would have swallowed us alive…”

 

The Waters

Flower field at sunset.Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we need saving. Perhaps situations have turned out to be terribly different than we had imagined; maybe we’ve just made poor choices, or we got caught in self-destructive behaviors that we never thought we would.

When we find ourselves in deep waters that are threatening to pull us under, we are one simple prayer away from a lifesaver being tossed our way. God is our rescuer, savior, defender, protector and shield. When the children of Israel were under bondage to the Egyptians, God heard their moans. God sent them a deliverer, Moses. Moses approached Pharoah many times demanding that he let God’s people go.

Ultimately Pharaoh relented and allowed God’s people to leave. However, when he saw them exiting Egypt, he changed his mind. He and his army began to pursue Moses and the Israelites. Moses and the children of Israel were fleeing but could not cross the Red Sea. God split the Red Sea and God’s people crossed through the water. When Pharaoh and his army tried to cross the Red Sea, the waters returned to their natural state crushing them in the process.

Today, as we feel trapped by our enemies of fear, guilt, depression, and self-condemnation, we can receive God’s mighty deliverer Jesus. Jesus Christ came to earth to live a sinless life, to die on the cross and be raised from the dead for us. So now in this great exchange we can take our sin, unrighteousness, fear, and pain and trade it for His perfection, righteousness, peace and well-being.

As we choose to be water baptized as a symbolic act of our new life in Christ, we cross through the waters and see the enemies of our soul crushed in the process. As we allow God’s saving power to rescue and restore every part of our being, we will walk as living memorials of God’s mercy and goodness.

Acts 7:34 – I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to rescue them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’

For the Journey!

Ocean SunsetAs we walk along the path of life we can encounter roads that are unsure, unsteady and at times treacherous. We can take a wrong turn and suddenly realize we’ve made a big mistake. As night closes in we can see that the path we chose is dark, fraught with crooked paths, and dangerous cliffs. What we needed was a guide along the way to keep us on the solid path and a light so we could see where we were going when it got dark.

When we come into relationship with our heavenly father by receiving Jesus Christ into our heart, we receive the Holy Spirit as our guarantee. The Holy Spirit of God is our helper, advocate, intercessor, comforter, teacher and guide. He is our GPS to keep us on the solid path. As we spend time with God in prayer and worship, we will find that we are more easily led by the Holy Spirit.

As we spend time reading and meditating on the Word of God, we will find that our path becomes brighter. King David said that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). The Word of God will bring light and illumination to our life choices and decisions.

Even if we have made wrong decisions in life or find ourselves off the beaten path, we are one prayer away from being on track again. The Bible says that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). When we call upon the name of Jesus, we call upon a mighty savior, defender, protector, provider, and leader. As we acknowledge God, He will make our paths straight. As we are led by His Spirit and walk in the light of His Word, we will find ourselves on the path that leads to abundant life.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

The Garden!

iStock_000037584984SmallSometimes on our path in life we find ourselves really behind. We think that the only way to catch up is to run faster. We try to keep going so that we make headway but detours and the unexpected pop up on the horizon. Sometimes we just need to catch our breath and re-think if we are even on the right path at all.

The Creator of everything made Adam and Eve in His image for relationship. He placed them in a beautiful garden to steward with ease, with many trees and only one they could not eat from. Sadly, they chose to disobey God and the results of their actions led to the world we live in now. Hate, fear, greed, murder, genocide, sickness, disease, war, famine all have come from the disobedience of one. One of the initial curses- that man would live by the sweat of His brow- began in the garden.

God desired reconciliation with mankind, so He made a way. He sent His son to earth to live a sinless life, die on the cross, and be raised from the dead so that we could identify with Jesus and exchange our unrighteousness for His righteousness.

When the time came for Jesus to go to the cross, He first went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. The Bible says, “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”

Jesus would shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins, breaking the curse. The first place that His blood was shed was in the Garden. Jesus’s blood redeemed the ground and took away the curse.

Now when we accept Jesus into our hearts, we can stop our tireless works. We can enter a place of supernatural rest and learn the unforced rhythms of grace (Matthew 11:28). When we spend time in our devotions of prayer, worship and reading the Word, we can enter into His beautiful presence. In His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11)  and when we seek Him and His righteousness, not our own righteousness, He adds to us all those things we need (Matt 6:33).

We no longer have to run faster, work harder or keep spinning our wheels. We can find rest and respond to God’s infinite, unfailing, overflowing unconditional great love. When we do, we will find ourselves ahead of the pack, on the right track and stepping into our destiny and purpose.


Luke 22:44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.

Heart Alive!

sunset over hillWe can find ourselves in a season where we feel we are going backwards and not forwards. We think we are heading to the next level and we find ourselves back two. Situations we thought were over rear their ugly head and all of a sudden we sense something familiar about our reactions and responses to situation and people.

When the disciples watched their hope for Israel die a criminal’s death on the cross, they were crushed. Regardless of the fact that Jesus had told them that He would die and be raised again, they had their eyes on Jesus as an earthly warrior/king who would remove the Romans from Israel.

That Saturday after Jesus died on the cross, two of the disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus. They were so despondent that when a man approached them on the road, they failed to recognize it was Jesus in His resurrected body. Jesus asked them what was wrong and they were surprised this man didn’t know what had happened to their leader; and began to tell Him what had unfolded the day before.

The man rebuked them and asked if the Christ did not have to suffer to fulfill these things and He began to open the scriptures to them. After a while they stopped for food and as the man broke the bread their eyes were opened and He vanished. The disciples realized who was walking with them all along.

The disciples became elated, and realized that as the man had opened the scriptures regarding the Christ, their hearts had burned within them. As we walk on this journey in life, we sometimes fail to recognize that Jesus is right here with us. As we commune with Him through prayer, worship and reading the Word, His Holy Spirit opens the scriptures to us. As we take communion we are revealed more and more who Jesus really is and what He has done for us!!!

Even when we feel that we are going backwards instead of forwards, we have to remember that God’s plans for us are bigger than our plans for us. The disciples thought the cross was a colossal failure and it was the most tremendous success for mankind of all time. We can trust God that whatever season of life we are in, His plans are bigger and better than we can hope, think or ask!

They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”