Infused!

iStock_000016010984SmallSometimes we go along the path of life feeling empty. We feel that we need to fill ourselves with everything the world has to offer. The more we consume things that we don’t need, the more we feel hollow.

If we eat candy when we are hungry, we only get sick and our hunger is not satisfied. When we fill ourselves with mindless entertainment, drama, bad food and excesses in alcohol and other substances, the same principles apply. We make ourselves sick and our spiritual hunger only deepens.

When we accept Jesus into our heart, we come into relationship with the God of Life. God gives us His Holy Spirit and now we can ask God to fill us again and again. When we spend time in prayer, worship and reading and meditating on the Word of God, we receive God’s love and acceptance and we are filled with His Spirit.

Jesus said that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled (Matthew 5:6). As we are infused daily with God’s beautiful life-giving Spirit, we will be filled at the core of our being and walk in peace, wholeness, and well-being.

Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

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On Time!

iStock_000014194811SmallSometimes in life we get ahead of God’s timing. We try to make things happen that we have prayed about before we allow God’s timing  to line up everything in the natural realm. When we take matters into our own hands, instead of waiting for God, we can end up with unfortunate results.

Abraham and Sarah are the parents of faith. They conceived the promised child Isaac way past the age for childbearing. God had promised them a child years before when they were still called Abram and Sarai. When they could not conceive initially, Sarai offered Abram her servant woman Hagar, to conceive a child with. Even though this was a common practice of the day, God’s promise was not just for Abram but for Sarai too. Abram and Hagar’s union produced the child Ishmael and a lot of long-term drama for Abram and Sarai.

Many years later God changed Abram’s name to Abraham meaning the father of many nations, and Sarai to Sarah which means princess. God promised Him once again that he and Sarah would have descendants. This time He took Abraham outside and pointed to the night sky and said that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (Genesis 26:4).  Abraham and Sarah wanted a family, God wanted to give them a legacy.

Once Abraham began to be called the father of many nations, it wasn’t long before Sarah conceived the promised child, Isaac. When we get our eyes off what we do not have, and on to God and what He has promised, our faith becomes activated.

Abraham and Sarah not only became the parents of Isaac but eventually they became the patriarch and matriarch of the Hebrew people. Their descendants became as numerous as stars in the sky (Genesis 26:4). When we relax into God’s plan and timing, we will see that He is willing and able to bring about all that’s in our heart, exceedingly abundantly above all we can hope, think or ask (Ephesians 3:20).

Romans 4:20-21 – yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

Reconnect!

pink summer sunset over chamomile meadow by lakeWe can step into busy seasons in life and get caught up in the ongoing activities. We can get our eyes off what’s important and allow things to negatively affect us. If we lose sight of the goal, then we can find ourselves lost in distraction.

When we accept Jesus into our hearts, God becomes our Father. We now enter this divine relationship with Him and the family of God. We are instantly transferred from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light. Now we actually bring the Kingdom of light with us wherever we go.

As we allow the light of Jesus Christ to shine, we will see God’s Kingdom invading earth. As we stay connected to the source of life, we effortlessly shine. When our seasons get busy, we can fall into the trap of feeling that we have no time. We have to remember that it is God’s strength that empowers us for every good work. When we reconnect in prayer again and again we will be constantly recharged.

Busy seasons have their trappings: temptations, distractions, and burnout. However, It only takes a moment to get our eyes back on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our faith. As we receive His grace and righteousness, we reign over every circumstance and situation in life (Romans 5:17). No matter the season we can pause and ask Jesus to fill us to the overflow, so that we are refreshed and renewed for everything we are called to do.

Isaiah 40:31 – But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 

True Success

misty morningWe all want to succeed in life. We strive to ensure that we have positive results in all of our undertakings. The reality is that we cannot control every variable. There are times in life that we will fail, or things will turn out to be completely different than we had hoped; but the truth is, our accomplishments do not define us.

When we come into relationship with God through accepting Jesus into our hearts, we come into relationship with the Creator of everything. God had us in mind since the beginning of time. He formed, shaped and molded us (Psalm 139:13-14). He created us with a destiny and a purpose and His plans towards us are to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

Now as we spend time with our designer each day through prayer, worship and reading of the Word, we get a deeper revelation of who God is and who He has created us to be. When we spend time basking in the love of God, our hurts and defenses melt and we become more and more the person God intends for us to be.

The more we cultivate our relationship with God, the less we will allow our behavior to define us. We will grow in the understanding of who we actually are. When we relax into our true selves in Christ, then our behavior will effortlessly become more Christ like. We will find ourselves graced and favored for every endeavor. We will walk with the confidence that we no longer need to prove anything to anyone. When we allow God to define us we will understand the meaning of true success.

 

Psalm 139:14 – I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made

Established!

Blossom of crocuses at spring in the mountainsSometimes we can feel like giving up. We struggle in our relationships, or believing that our dreams will come to pass. We even can find our calling to be too overwhelming at times. We can face frustration, opposition and burn out and want to give up. The truth is we were never made to do any of this on our own. We have been designed since the beginning of time to be empowered by God for this life.

As we accept Jesus into our hearts, we now have the infinite, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient King of the Universe on our side. God becomes our father, and we can ask Him into every area of our lives. We now can richly receive the abundant supply of grace and the gift of righteousness that causes us to reign in life (Romans 5:17).

There is no detail too small or too big that God does not want to help us with. His thoughts towards us are more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore (139-17-18). He counts the strands of hair on our head (Luke 12:7) and we are the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8). We can know that He cares about us more than we’ll ever comprehend and is willing to be involved in every area of our lives.

If we are struggling in our relationships we can pray that God will restore them. If we have allowed dreams to die, we can pray that God will rebirth them and if we find that our calling seems too difficult or too hard, we can pray for God’s grace and unmerited favor to empower us to accomplish everything in our heart. We can trust that God is able to equip and establish us to be and do all that we have been created for.

Matthew 19:26 – With God all things are possible 

By Faith!

iStock_000028885418SmallSometimes, as we go through life, our faith can falter. We may start off full of passion and dreams believing that God is able to bring every single one to pass. However, it is easy to lose heart when things turn out differently than we had hoped for. We often find people and things to distract us so that we can ignore what’s deep in our hearts to accomplish.

As we come to God in prayer, worship and reading of the Word, we come into the presence of the God of Possibilities. Jesus told His disciples,  “…with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).” When we choose to trust God with our heart, rather than believing what we see with our eyes, we open the door to God’s supernatural power.

Fatih is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Those who came before us set the example of right believing. Abraham by faith went to a land he did not know, for He was looking for a city whose architect was God (Hebrews 11:10). By faith Sarah received the ability to conceive even after the proper time of life, because she believed that He who had promised was faithful (Hebrews 11:11).

By faith Moses’ parents hid him, so he could live despite the King’s edict, refusing  to be afraid of Pharaoh. By faith Moses as an adult refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. By faith he left Egypt, he trusted God’s leading over the King’s wrath. By faith Moses followed God’s instructions in performing the first passover, sprinkling the innocent blood of the lamb, so the Israelites would escape the destroyer. By faith he crossed the Red Sea leading the people of God on dry land, while seeing the Egyptians drowned behind him (Hebrews 11:23-29).

When we choose to follow the leading of God, we can have faith that God is with us. We may meet opposition, challenges and disappointments along the way but there is absolutely nothing that can stop our dreams from coming to pass when we choose to trust God and not give up. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can hope, think or ask (Ephesians 3:20). He is on our side (Romans 8:31), and He is tirelessly at work behind the scenes bringing everything we hope for to pass in His timing. When we commit our plans to God, they will succeed (Proverbs 16:3). There is not anything in the universe that is too small or too big for our God.

Hebrews 11:1 – Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

 

Stand Out & Shine!

iStock_000016623146SmallWe can feel sometimes as if we do not belong. We try to fit into an exclusive world but we can often end up sticking out all the more. We even pretend to be like everyone else. We wear a facade and a mask but in the end we feel more empty than before; and we just ultimately long to be understood and accepted the way we are.

When we enter into a relationship with God, by accepting Jesus into our heart, we are adopted into the family of God. God becomes our father and we are His kids. We now no longer have to perform to be accepted. Jesus makes us accepted because of His finished work on the cross.

Now as we spend time with God through our personal prayer times, we will sense His beautiful presence. We will begin to get a glimpse of His unfailing, radical, relentless and all consuming love for us. We will get a revelation of our true acceptance in Christ.

As we grow in our relationship with the family of God, through our local corporate worship gatherings, we can sense God’s manifested presence. He has promised when two or more gather in His name, He will be there in our midst (Matthew 18:20) We can cultivate relationships with other believers and enjoy times of fellowship building each other up in our faith.

When we find our true acceptance in Christ, we will stop trying to fit in everywhere else. We will actually discover who we truly are, and begin to enjoy standing out. Once we are established in our God-identity we can truly become who we are made to be, and shine with no fear of rejection, because we know that we are now forever accepted.

Daniel 12:3 – Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Happy & Free

many daisy flowers at sunset in summerAs we go through life we can become overly serious people. Life is full of demands, expectations and responsibilities. Sometimes we face situations that are sobering, we suffer consequences from bad mistakes or situations that are beyond our control. If we are not careful, we can allow life to squeeze out all of our joy and our ability to relax and have fun.

As we come to God by accepting Jesus into our hearts, we enter into relationship with the God of Life. Jesus said that His yoke is “easy” and His burden is “light” (Matt 11:28). The world’s burdens may be difficult and heavy but we know that we can receive Jesus’s lightness and freedom.

As we come into our prayer times with Him, we are renewed, restored and revitalized. We can lay down all of our worries, hurts, traumas, and burdens at the foot of the Cross and receive God’s joy, peace, comfort and well-being. We can receive God’s abundant life (John 10:10).

The more we spend time with God, the more we will see our worries and fears wane, and our joy and peace increase. We can begin to live life fully, enjoying the beautiful things that God has blessed us with and step wholly into our amazing purpose and destiny.

Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.

 

Oh Grace!

Appalachian Trail Roan Mountains Rhododendron Bloom on Blue Ridge PeaksWe can go through life always trying to measure up. If we do this, then we will be very critical of ourselves when we do not. We will also be critical of others who do not measure up. We will find that we have a gift for fault finding which leads to a very frustrating existence.

As we come to God through accepting Jesus in to our hearts, we come into relationship with the God of Grace. Through this relationship we receive His abundant supply of grace and the gift of righteousness which causes us to reign in life (Romans 5:17).

God’s grace makes us right with Him and perfect in His eyes. This is a free gift. We do absolutely nothing to deserve His grace. It is unearned, undeserved and unmerited. Jesus did everything for us in His finished work on the cross. Our part is to receive every bit of it. When we do we effortlessly allow His grace to flow to others.

Now as we go through life we can have grace for every situation. Our circumstances may not line up perfectly but now they can still work out for our benefit. As we face obstacles and challenges we can simply pray a one word prayer to God: “Grace.” God’s grace is sufficient for us, for God’s power is perfected in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Now we can boast in our weaknesses, for without them we would have no room for His grace.

In this beautiful divine relationship, we receive God’s radical love, infinite mercy, immeasurable kindness and unending grace. The Bible says we receive “grace upon grace”. Just as the waves crash on top of one another on the sea shore, so does God’s amazing grace continue to crash upon us again and again, making us perfect before God, equipping us to step into our destiny and empowering us to live the life we were made for.

John 1:16 – For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

Authentic & Free

Flower field at sunset.We can look up in life and realize that we are unhappy. And, when we are unhappy, we make other people unhappy too. Misery loves company. Usually we have come to this place of unhappiness because we have allowed the expectation of society and others’ opinions to rule our life. We’ve tried to fit in so we look the part, talk the part, and act the part to gain people’s approval. However, in doing this we lose our individual identity in the process.

As Jesus walked the earth, He was authentic and free and He never was ruled by people’s opinion of Him. The religious elite hated Him for that because they were trapped behind their masks and facades. However, real people were drawn to Him and followed Him and their lives were always changed forever.

When we come to God through accepting Jesus, we come into relationship with the one who designed our unique DNA and created our individual fingerprints. Only God knows who we really are. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, our personality and the deepest desires of our heart. We will never be happy wearing a facade. We will never fulfill our God given destiny trying to be like others. We will never experience lasting joy trying to be someone else.

As we spend time with Jesus receiving His unconditional love, we will transform again and again effortlessly into the person we were created to be. We will care less and less what others think and we will stop trying to win people’s approval. We will enjoy who we are created to be, and we will become comfortable in our own skin. Misery may love company but joy is contagious. As our identity settles in Christ we will become joyful people of destiny who desire to see others living authentically and free.

2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.